Brazil’s state-controlled oil company Petrobras owns and operates the Petrobras Pasadena refinery. The plant is of significant size with the capacity to refine 100,000 barrels per day of oil into fuels like diesel, gasoline, and jet fuel. Several types of accidents have occurred at the Pasadena refinery since its opening including explosions and fires. These types of accidents frequently require the services of a skilled accident attorney who knows how to best respond to such a situation.

The History of the Petrobras Pasadena Refinery

The Pasadena refinery was constructed in 1920 by Crown Central, one of the first petroleum refineries built on the Houston Ship Channel. The Pasadena refinery is now owned by Pasadena Refining System Incorporated, a refinery company that is also headquartered in Pasadena. Pasadena Refining System Incorporated once represented a 50/50 partnership between Petrobras and Astra Holding USA, a United States subsidiary of the Belgian Holding company, Compagnie Nationale à Portefeuille SA. Petrobras now holds one hundred percent interest Pasadena Refining System Incorporated. Pasadena Refining System is a refiner and marketer of petroleum products. Over the course of decades, the Pasadena refinery has become modernized with the creation of new process units in addition to safety and environmental control. Currently, Pasadena Refining System employs nearly 300 employees and about 200 permanent contractors. Some individuals have argued that the Pasadena Refinery System is operating illegally because a critical federal operating permit for the refinery lapsed in 2014.

Explosions at Petrobras Pasadena Refinery

There have been several reported explosions at the Pasadena refinery. In March of 2016,  a unit at the refinery that makes diesel ruptured, which caused an explosion. More specifically, the explosion seems to have originated in the compressor of the unit’s hydrotreater. A hydrotreater is a device that decreases the amount of sulfur in petroleum by increasing the amount of hydrogen in the product. One individual was burned as a result of this accident and taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. Fortunately, all other units at the refinery were not damaged by the explosion and resulting fire.

The Potential for Future Injuries and Fatalities at the Petrobras Pasadena Refinery

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration in 2010 fined the Petrobras Pasadena Refinery $115,650 for multiple safety hazards including twenty one serious violations. The violations include failing to provide: properly constructed scaffolds, supports to hold piping, and controls to prevent valves from closing. Pasadena Refinery Service was also fined for failing to conduct space audits, not ensuring guard rails were adequate, and not ensuring that operating procedures were up to date and accurate in nature. While it is uncertain whether Pasadena Refinery Service has remedied all of these violations, each of these conditions have the significant risk of causing significant fatalities or physical harm to individuals.

Obtain the Services of a Knowledgeable Pasadena Refinery Accident Attorney

A skilled Pasadena accident attorney possesses the knowledge and experience necessary to help individuals injured in a refinery accident obtain the compensation that is deserved. Please contact our firm today to discuss your potential legal strategies in pursuing a claim against a liable Texas refinery.