Hampshire firefighters say 'glow' was Fawley oil refinery flaring excess gas

THE fire service has reported a large number of calls from people concerned an orange glow in the sky meant trouble – but a controlled fire was to blame.

Monday, 17th August 2020, 9:15 am
Updated Monday, 17th August 2020, 9:46 am

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service posted on social media saying it had received a large number of calls concerned about flames coming from the Exxon-owned oil refinery in Fawley.

The glow in the sky could be seen in Portsmouth.

But the site was not in danger – instead, it was undergoing a routine procedure known as flaring, burning off excess gas.

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A statement from the company said: ‘Due to an interruption in operations late yesterday evening we are currently flaring and we anticipate that this will continue for a number of hours.

‘We apologise to our local residents for any concern and inconvenience caused by the flaring and associated noise.

‘We are doing all we can to resolve the situation and are taking a series of measures to minimise the flare.

The orange glow from Fawley seen in the sky near Portsmouth led to a large number of calls to the fire service. Picture: Amy Savage

‘Flaring is a safe, controlled and environmentally approved way of burning off excess gas which would normally be recycled and used in our operating processes.’

The Fawley site has four flare stacks, and on a cloudy night flames can be reflected off the clouds, creating an eye-catching – if worrying – sight for communities across the area.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

The cause of the glow was flaring from a nearby oil refinery. Picture: Amy Savage

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