Fire Suspends Production at Canadian Refining Site

The energy company GasFrac suspended operations at a refining site after a fire damaged some machinery, the company said. Above, a petroleum refinery in Alberta. (image: 4BlueEyes Pete Williamson via flickr.com)

The Alberta-based GasFrac Energy Services suffered a setback this weekend, when a fire damaged machinery at one of its Canadian refining operations. The energy company has suspended work to investigate the cause of the fire, it said in a press release issued on Sunday.

GasFrac’s primary work is distilling propane for oil and gas companies.

The official account of the fire is vague. The company said there was “an incident” at its processing plant that caused a propane leak. The leak was quickly contained, but not before starting a fire, which damaged parts of two fracturing pumps. Three GasFrac employees suffered minor burns in the fire, the company said.

The immediate affect of a production delay was unclear. GasFrac supplies propane to companies in the United States and Canada. Both countries ended 2010 with average propane reserves — but both companies are in the midst of the heating season drawdowns.

Shares of GasFrac took a hit on the TSX Venture Exchange, sliding close to 20-percent in trading on Monday.

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