Pipe failure caused Feb. fire at Wash. BP refinery

June 19, 2012 - 3:46 PM

FERNDALE, Wash. (AP) — BP says the Feb. 17 fire that shut down its Cherry Point oil refinery in Washington state near Ferndale was caused by a pipe failure in the crude processing unit.

Refinery Manager Stacey McDaniel says the pipe has been replaced and is being monitored while a redesign is considered.

BP added a maintenance "turnaround" to the repairs, which at one time required more than 3,200 additional workers at the site. The refinery returned to operation at the end of May. Its outage had been blamed as a factor in high West Coast gasoline prices.

Cherry Point is the third-largest refinery on the West Coast and produces 20 percent of Washington's gasoline and the majority of jet fuel for Sea-Tac, Portland and Vancouver, British Columbia, airports.