An oil tank at Marathon Petroleum’s 593,000 bpd Galveston Bay refinery in Texas City, US, leaked for more than six hours on 6 October 2021 before being contained, according to reports.
Nearby roads were closed due to strong odours from the spill, which began at 7:30am local time. Aerial footage broadcast by the KPRC 2 news channel shows oil gushing out near the base of a large floating roof tank. In a statement released to local media outlets, Marathon spokesperson Jamal Kheiry said that nobody had been injured in the spill, and that the cleanup was underway. Marathon has deployed air monitoring in the community as a precaution and an investigation as to the cause is underway.
In a filing to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, seen by Bloomberg, Marathon said that the spill was caused by the failure of a valve flange. The crude oil was released into a containment dyke, and firefighters applied foam to reduce vapour evaporation. Marathon has estimated the leakage at around 5,000 lbs (2,268 kg). The company has deployed equipment to remove the oil for processing and disposal, and expects the incident to be over by 7:30pm local time on 7 October 2021.