A crude distillation unit that helps transform crude oil into gasoline and other fuels at the BP Whiting Refinery shut down after a fire Saturday that caused a firefighter to suffer a minor ankle injury.
The fire caused a malfunction to the Pipestill Unit 11A at the former Standard Oil Refinery on the Lake Michigan lakeshore in Whiting, which resulted in the shutdown of the 75,000-barrel-per-day crude distillation unit that's far smaller than the 240,000-barrel-per-day Pipestill 12 Crude Distillation Unit that was shuttered for several months last fall for a planned maintenance project.
The upset was not related to the recent bout of harsh winter weather.
"We do not have a timeline for the repairs," BP spokesman Michael Abendoff said.
The 430,000-barrel-per-day refinery that sprawls across Whiting, Hammond and East Chicago is the largest in the Midwest, supplying gasoline to seven states and cranking out 5 percent of the nation's asphalt. It produces 10 million gallons of gasoline, 3.5 million gallons of diesel and 1.7 million gallons of jet fuel a day on its 1,400-acre site.
BP is still operating the 240,000-barrel-per-day Pipestill 12 crude distillation unit and a 75,000-barrel-per-day Pipestill 11C CDU at the refinery, a main source for gasoline in Indiana and the greater Chicago area as well as in surrounding states.
The company declined to comment on how production would be affected as a result of the temporary shutdown.