An explosion at Swiss oil refiner Petroplus' Coryton refinery in Essex in southern England erupted into a fire on 31 October.
The fire at the 172,000 b/d refinery occurred in one of the refinery units. Petroplus has shut down several processing units as a precautionary measure and the cause of the fire has yet to be confirmed.
Essex Fire Service reported that the fire was located on the ground floor of a tower with smoke reaching 100ft. A non-toxic smoke plume was seen drifting towards nearby Canvey Island.
There were no casualties and no evacuations of residents living nearby. There are 10 fire appliances and seven special units at the refinery, situated 30 miles from London along the Thames Estuary.
The borough's emergency planning officer was called to the scene and Petroplus had instigated its own emergency plans for such an incident.
There was no environmental risk associated with the incident. Flame retardant foam and cooling equipment was used to prevent further damage and to manage the blaze.
It remains unclear for how long operations will be shut down at the Coryton refinery, which Petroplus bought from BP in February 2007.