(Adds company comment, market reaction)
Jan 29 Two people were hurt in an overnight
explosion and fire at a private oil and gas firm's saltwater
disposal facility in east Texas on Tuesday, an executive at the
Dan Crawford, a partner with Three Forks Energy, said the
facility has six tanks that hold saltwater produced in oil wells
before it is injected into an underground disposal well. He said
there was "minimal" oil at the facility in Van Zandt County.
Terry Blackmon, the fire marshal for nearby Van, Texas, said
the explosion and fire occurred at 3 a.m. CDT (0900 GMT).
Blackmon told Reuters the facility had three fiberglass
tanks with a total capacity of about 1,500 barrels that were
destroyed by the fire. Those contained crude oil, condensate and
saltwater, he said. Two larger metal storage tanks, empty at the
time, were damaged, he added.
Blackmon said the two people who were hurt did not work at
the facility and were taken to the burns unit of a hospital in
Dallas. He spoke by telephone from the scene.
Traders said the incident appeared to have little impact on
U.S. crude oil futures, which rose $1.13 to settle at
$97.57 a barrel on Tuesday on strong U.S. housing data.
Crawford said he had no details of how the explosion
happened. He said initial reports could have assumed that the
facility stored oil, and that he was shocked that it could occur
at a saltwater disposal facility.
"We're a private company, we own and produce some oil and
gas wells around Texas and this is one of our facilities,"
Blackmon said Chevron Corp pipeline representatives
were at the scene, as the company has pipeline operations in
Texas. Chevron spokesman Gareth Johnstone said none of those
operations was affected by the fire.
(Reporting by Kristen Hays in Houston and David Sheppard in New
York; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick, David Gregorio and Dale