I am writing to update you on the status of the recent incident here at Cherry Point. As I mentioned last week, the most important thing is that no one was seriously injured during the response.
Investigators from Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L & I) have been on site on several occasions and are working with us to determine the cause of this incident. Although the investigation is at its preliminary stages, we wanted to update you on what is happening. After an initial inspection, we believe there was a failure in the Crude Vacuum Unit. The failure led to the release of resid, a heavier crude product, which ignited when it came into contact with the air. Our focus now is to determine the reason(s) for the failure and make any necessary changes so this does not happen again. Once we know the reasons why this occurred, we will share this important information with the industry.
The refinery is mostly shut down and the primary focus of everyone here is to support the investigation.
I appreciate the outpouring of community support. We take our responsibility as a neighbor very seriously and I apologize for any stress this may have caused. If you have any additional questions, please go to www.bpcherrypoint.com to submit an inquiry.
Michael Abendhoff, BP Refinery Manager