Valero Says No Injuries at Port Arthur Refinery Tank Fire -- Update

(Adds details)

Valero Energy Corp. (VLO) said a tank fire broke out just before noon Tuesday at its Port Arthur, Texas, refinery, marking another setback for Gulf Coast refineries trying to return to normal following Hurricane Harvey.

The fire happened "in a heavy oil tank" within the complex, the company said, adding there were no reports of injuries and all employees have been accounted for.

"A shelter in place for nearby residents is in place as a precautionary measure," Valero said, adding that its emergency crews were on scene working with the Port Arthur Fire Department. The refinery is 90 miles east of Houston.

News video footage on Facebook, reportedly of the fire at the refinery, shows a huge plume of black smoke billowing from what appears to be a storage tank area at the plant.

Valero's 335,000 barrel-a-day Port Arthur refinery and many other refineries along the Gulf Coast shut down in late August because of wind, flooding or electricity problems related to Hurricane Harvey. Valero said in early September it had begun restarting the Port Arthur refinery, but analysts said it could be until the end of the month before operations may return to full power.

Write to Dan Molinski at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 19, 2017 15:42 ET (19:42 GMT)