A fire broke out in Sohar Refinery on Monday afternoon at one of its seven units undergoing maintenance. No casualties were reported. Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Company (Orpic) said in a press release that the fire broke out in its wet gas scrubber while maintenance was being conducted in the unit. The refinery had been shut down a few days back for a 46 day maintenance programme.
An official at the plant told Muscat Daily, “The fire broke out at 3pm when maintenance work was on at one of the units. Though no casualties have been reported, the damage may keep the refinery closed for longer. Luckily, the whole refinery is shut for maintenance or else the fire and resulting damage would have been bigger.”
The fire was put out by early evening. “Initial assessment shows that the fire may have been caused by sparks produced while making modifications to the chimney, which fell to the ground damaging other machinery,” the official said.
He added that it was too early to estimate the losses. “Today, everyone was busy trying to control the fire and there would be a study toassess the value of the damage,” he said.
The refinery was expected to restart around April 15, but may now remain shut for longer, the official said. “The refinery will need more time to restart because of the repairs needed now.
Orpic's press release stated, “The fire will not impact the fuel demand as Orpic has already made the necessary arrangements for petroleum products to meet the domestic fuel demand at all three of its supply locations - Sohar, Muscat and Salalah during the 46-day scheduled shutdown.”