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Ferndale refinery’s large flare was due to power outage

Flaring event at the Phillips 66 Ferndale Refinery (September 19, 2019). Photo courtesy of Robin Woelz

FERNDALE, Wash. — The Phillips 66 Ferndale Refinery at 3901 Unick Road experienced a loss of power this evening resulting in safety systems kicking in, producing a noticeably large flare visible for several miles away.

Phillips 66 Director, Public & Government Affairs Tim Johnson said that at approximately 6pm today, September 19th, they “experienced an external loss of power from our local utility company which resulted in visible flaring. Flares are important safety devices used in refineries and petrochemical facilities. They safely burn excess hydrocarbon gases which cannot be recovered or recycled.”

There were no injuries and no offsite impacts Johnson added.

Power was restored at approximately 8:10pm. As of 9pm, Johnson reported the refinery operation was stable and they were in the process restarting the impacted units.

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The flaring is expected to continue into the evening Johnson said.

Phillips 66 personnel were dispatched offsite to monitor air quality. According to Johnson, “All data indicates there has been no offsite impact.”

Johnson says the company is working with the local utility company to investigate the cause of the power outage.

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