Tag Archives: Refinery

Disruption in Oil Supply in Syria Spurs Amateurs to Build Make-Shift Refineries

19 Aug

by Jeffry Ruigendijk / Al Jazeera

One of Abu Zechariah's sons covers his mouth and nose while working with the refinery to avoid inhaling smoke emitted from the rusty tank.

One of Abu Zechariah’s sons covers his mouth and nose while working with the refinery to avoid inhaling smoke emitted from the rusty tank.

Ras al-Ain, Syria – Abu Zechariah and his two sons are farmers in the Kurdish town of Ras al-Ain, in northeastern Syria. They are one of many families throughout Syria that have decided to start privately refining crude oil as a way to make money.

Trucks come from Ramlan to Ras al-Ain, where they then begin to extract the low-quality fuel using rudimentary and dangerous equipment.

Rival rebel groups and regime forces continue to battle for control of strategic oil and gas fields in Syria’s northeast. Since the war began, local demand for oil has soared due to the disruption in supply from the West, which has led to small, privately owned refineries being built throughout Syria. Though profitable, this process of refining “rock oil” is unhealthy, and explosions are always a risk.

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Exxon Refinery Spills Unknown Amount of Chemicals

5 Apr

As ExxonMobil’s week from hell continues after a spill of Canadian crude oil and questions on why the energy giant is exempt from contributing to a federal cleanup fund, it is now dealing with a fresh chemical leak at a refinery in Chalmette, Louisiana.

According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, residents of the New Orleans suburb began reporting strong odor of “burning tires and oil” to the local Coast Guard on Wednesday.

The claims were soon connected to a report issued by the ExxonMobil refinery the same day.

Confusion remained, though, over the amounts and types of chemicals dumped as a result of a break in a pipeline connecting a drum used to store “liquid flare condensate” with a flare. At oil refineries, flares are gas combustion devices generally used to burn off flammable gas released by pressure relief valves. In this case, the spill itself was of the condensate water.

Once the refinery’s leak reached the threshold that would require it to be reported, ExxonMobil announced that it had released 100 pounds of hydrogen sulfide and 10 pounds of benzene, a volatile compound known to cause cancer.
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