* Blaze put out about 1-1/2 hours after breaking out
* Fire forced evacuation of portion of refinery
* BP Texas City refinery being sold to Marathon
* Refinery was site of deadly 2005 accident
(Updates with fire out at refinery)
HOUSTON, Oct 30 BP Plc said a fire that
broke out on Tuesday afternoon in a residual hydrotreater at the
company's 400,780 barrel-per-day Texas City, Texas, refinery was
extinguished in about 1-1/2 hours and resulted in no injuries.
BP spokesman Scott Dean said a portion of the refinery was
The residual hydrotreater remained shut following the fire,
but the rest of the refinery's units, including crude
distillation and gasoline plants, were operating, Dean said.
The blaze was fought by the refinery's fire department, Dean
A residual hydrotreater uses hydrogen to remove sulfur from
crude oil residuals before they are processed in refining units.
Crude oil residuals are heavy, tar-like portions of a barrel of
The Texas City Emergency Management office said heavy oil
was burning in the blaze, creating a smoke plume that could be
seen up to five miles away.
Nearby residents were not told to take special precautions
to prevent exposure to the smoke, according to the Emergency
BP announced on Oct. 8 that it would sell the BP refinery,
the nation's sixth largest, in a $2.5-billion deal to Marathon
In the sale to Marathon, the refinery has a base price of
$598 million and Marathon will pay up to an additional $700
million over six years depending on the plant's profitability.
The company also agreed to pay BP an estimated $1.2 billion for
crude and product inventories.
The Texas City refinery was the site of the deadliest U.S.
refinery accident in the 21st century when a March 2005
explosion killed 15 workers and injured 180 others.
(Reporting by Kristen Hays and Erwin Seba; Editing by Dale
Hudson, Carol Bishopric and Jim Marshall)