FILE - In this June 21, 2019 file photo, flames and smoke emerge from the Philadelphia Energy Solutions Refining Complex in Philadelphia. The owner of the largest oil refinery complex on the East Coast is telling officials that it will close the facility after a fire last week set off explosions and damaged the facility. Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said in a Wednesday, June 26 statement that Philadelphia Energy Solutions has informed him of its decision. Kenney says the more than 1,000 workers there will be impacted. The 150-year-old oil refining complex processes 335,000 barrels of crude oil daily. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

Largest oil refinery on East Coast will close after fire

June 26, 2019 - 11:00 am

The owner of the largest oil refinery complex on the East Coast is telling officials that it will close the facility after a fire last week set off explosions and damaged equipment there.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said in a statement Wednesday that Philadelphia Energy Solutions had informed him of its decision to shut down the facility in the next month. The more than 1,000 workers there will be impacted, the mayor said.

It's unclear whether the closure might have any effect on oil prices.

A company spokeswoman had not responded to a request for comment Wednesday morning. The company also has recently struggled financially.

The 150-year-old oil refining complex processes 335,000 barrels of crude oil daily, according to PES. The refinery turns the crude into gasoline, jet fuel, propane, home heating oil and other products.

It started as a bulk petroleum storage facility in 1866, and began refinery operations in 1870.

The company emerged from federal bankruptcy court last year after restructuring its debt, leaving its majority ownership in the hands of investment banking firms Credit Suisse Asset Management and Bardin Hill.

Friday's fire at the complex broke out early in the morning, and video showed the enormous orange blast bursting into the sky.

It set off three explosions, felt miles away, as the fire plowed through a tangle of pipes carrying fuel across the complex, the company has said. It happened at the Girard Point refinery, one of two at the PES complex in south Philadelphia.

The fire erupted in a tank containing a mix of butane and propane, a fire official said.

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