The cloud-covered skies over the northern area of Burnaby were glowing bright orange late this evening, prompting many concerned residents across the Metro Vancouver region to take to social media that something might be going awry at Chevron’s Burnaby refinery. But if you are still wondering at this late hour, there is no cause for concern.
According to CKNW, the refinery located at Burrard Inlet activated its safety protocols after the plant and much of the Burnaby Mountain area was hit by a wind-induced power outage. As a result, a large elevated gas flare at the facility was burning much larger than usual.
Gas flares are normal attributes for oil refineries as they burn off excess hydrocarbon gases created by the production process. The gases are mixed with steam or air to create water vapour and carbon dioxide in the flare system.
The Chevron refinery is fed by the Kinder Morgan pipeline and creates approximately 57,000 barrels of oil per day for the Lower Mainland market. Due to a prolonged power outage after the severe August 31 windstorm, the plant was shut down as a precaution and production was halted for a number of days.
This evening, 42,000 B.C. Hydro customers in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley are without power due to the strong winds.
Anyone know what’s happening near the Chevron refinery in Burnaby? pic.twitter.com/JdPDvRLxso
— sandro licastro (@LicastroSandro) December 7, 2015
Something is flickering and lighting up the clouds in North Burnaby. pic.twitter.com/QirPPG85VQ
— Akuga (@AkugaTok) December 7, 2015
#Burnaby Anyone know what the bright orange lights are behind Capitol Hill! Looking north from Brentwood. Fires? Explosions?
— Kenny Vannucci (@kootenayborn) December 7, 2015