Chemical release under probe at Ponca City refinery

An accident at the Phillips 66 Ponca City Refinery injured 7 persons this week and remains under investigation.

It happened Tuesday afternoon  around 1 o’clock when the company stated that a “unit upset” occurred “resulting in a brief release of catalyst which is used in the refining process.”

“After the release, seven individuals from the community sought medical attention at a local emergency room and have since been released,” stated the company in a news release.

“The Emergency Department at AllianceHealth Ponca City received seven patients yesterday that had been exposed to a catalyst released by Phillips 66 Refinery,” said Kimberlyn Bivins, director of marketing at AllianceHealth Ponca City. “There were no acute health hazards associated with the catalyst.”

“The incident was resolved and the cause of the unit upset is under investigation, with no timeline for how long that may take,” said Melissa Ory, a Phillips 66 public affairs representative.

The company said its emergency response team immediately responded to the incident and that no external readings were detected by monitoring equipment at the refinery’s fenceline or adjacent community.

The safety of our community, the environment and our people are of the utmost importance to Phillips 66, and these priorities will guide our efforts as we investigate the cause of this incident,” stated the company.



After the release, the energy company said seven community members sought medical attention at AllianceHealth Ponca City. Phillips 66 said it was unable to speak as to why the individuals sought medical attention, but did say that all seven had since been released.


The refinery covers about 2,500 acres and has a crude oil capacity of 203,000 barrels per day and a gasoline capacity of 120,000 barrels per day.