MARTINEZ, CA — Monday night’s 4.5-magnitude earthquake centered near Pleasant Hill interrupted operations for at least two nearby petroleum refineries in Martinez.
Shell Martinez spokesman Ray Fisher said in an email Tuesday morning that operations at the facility have returned to normal, but some equipment was temporarily affected by the shake.
Marathon Petroleum’s Martinez refinery also experienced an interruption during the earthquake, according to Bay Area Air Quality Management District spokesman Ralph Borrmann, but Marathon did not respond to a request for more information.
“There’s an automatic safety feature that kicks in,” Borrmann said.
“So those shut down and the gases were vented to a flaring device so the hydrocarbons don’t go out straight into the atmosphere,” he said. “There was flaring, and there may be flaring today as these units get restarted.”
The air district is investigating the flaring incidents, according to Borrmann.
— Bay City News Service
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