Fire at Canadian oil refinery in wake of threats to U.S., Canadian oil sites

15 February 2007: A fire broke out at the Imperial Oil Ltd. refinery in Nanticoke, Ontario, Canada early this morning, knocking out the facility’s crude unit refining operation and causing a cut in oil production from this 118,000 barrel-a-day facility. The 28 year-old refinery produces a variety of products, including unleaded gasoline, diesel fuel, heavy fuel oil, asphalt, propane and butane and is located about 25 miles southwest of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada on the north shore of Lake Erie. Investigators have not yet determined the origin of the fire or the extent of the damage to the facility.

Most notably, this is the second fire at an Imperial refinery within the last two months. An explosion occurred at an Imperial facility located in Sarnia, Ontario in December, affecting production and output at that 120,000 barrel-a-day refinery. Although the origin of the explosion and fire in December and the latest fire remain undetermined, it is important to note that al Qaeda has called for attacks against oil facilities in the U.S. and Canada, as previously reported on this site.