Blaze at Chevron's California refinery; residents ordered indoors
RICHMOND/HOUSTON (REUTERS) - A fire struck the core of Chevron Corp's large Richmond, California, refinery on Monday evening, sending flames and a column of smoke into the air and prompting authorities to order nearby residents indoors.
The fire, which authorities said was still blazing more than two and a half hours after it erupted, hit the sole crude unit at the 245,000 barrel per day (bpd) plant, which accounts for one-eighth of the state's refining capacity.
A lasting outage at the refinery could cause a swift rise in gasoline prices across the West Coast, a region that is isolated from other markets.
Nearby residents were advised to shelter in place, an order often given during significant refinery accidents to shield against possible exposure to dangerous chemicals or smoke.