Explosion rocks HollyFrontier Refinery in west Tulsa

TULSA - No one was injured Thursday when the HollyFrontier Refinery caught fire in west Tulsa.

Just before 2:30 a.m.,an explosion was heard coming from the refinery near 23rd and Southwest Boulevard.

Flames could be seen shooting several feet into the air and the glow was seen at least 6 miles away.

Refinery officials say the fire started in the diesel hydrotreater unit at the Tulsa East refinery, which is the old Sinclair refinery.  The fire was contained by the company's emergency response team.  All personnel were accounted for and there were no reported injuries.

Officials say there is no risk to the surrounding community and that a full investigation is under way to determine the cause of the fire.

"While we are investigating the cause of the fire, safety is our number one goal -- safety for our employees, fire team and surrounding neighbors," said Tony Conetta, vice president and refinery manager.  "We appreciate the Tulsa Fire Department's standby support."

Neither the extent of the damage nor the impact on operations is currently known.

HollyFrontier has its own fire department; however, the Tulsa Fire Department was on standby.  

The last incident at the west Tulsa refinery occurred in April 2011.

A massive tank fire broke out on the other end of the same property near.

Investigators determined lightning was to blame for that fire., which the company's fire department extinguished. 

That fire was contained to just one tank and no one was injured.

As for Thursday's fire, it could be having an effect around the world.

As word of the fire first hit the Internet by way of KJRH.com, Twitter and Facebook, wholesale gasoline prices inched up by 2 cents a gallon.

At 2:30 a.m., regular unleaded was trading for a consistent $2.84 a gallon.  Right after the explosion, wholesale prices increased to $2.86 a gallon.  The effect on retail prices is unknown at this point.

Based in Dallas, HollyFrontier operates four other refineries in Kansas, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

According to the company's website , the Tulsa refinery has a daily crude oil capacity of 125,000 barrels.

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