Largest Oil Refinery On East Coast Will Close After Fire

Jun 26, 2019

The owner of the largest oil refinery on the East Coast is telling officials that it will close the facility after a fire last week set off explosions and damaged the complex.

*This story was updated at 1:52 p.m. on June 26, 2019 to include more information.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said in a statement Wednesday that Philadelphia Energy Solutions had informed him of its decision.

Kenney says the more than 1,000 workers there will be impacted. A company spokeswoman isn't responding to a request for comment.

AAA also says gasoline prices may increase as a result of the refinery's closure. 

Spokeswoman Jana Tidwell says motorists in the Northeast will likely see modest price increases at the pump leading into the high-demand summer travel season.

The markets research company FactSet reported that gasoline futures prices spiked Tuesday night after the first news of the refinery's possible closure. Prices remained high Wednesday.

Kevin Book is managing director at Clearview Energy Partners. He says the refinery has been an important source fueling transportation in the Northeast.

PES says the 150-year-old oil refining complex processes 335,000 barrels of crude oil daily. The refinery turns the crude into gasoline, jet fuel, propane, home heating oil and other products.

It started as a bulk petroleum storage facility in 1866, and began refinery operations in 1870.

The company emerged from bankruptcy last year after restructuring its debt.