With the Dalian fire extinguished, a firefighter steps over a tangle of hoses on July 20. Chinese officials said the explosion was due to improper injections of desulfurizer, part of the oil-refining process.
A government investigation found the desulfurizer had been strongly oxidizing and that workers had failed to follow standard safety protocols, the New York Times reported. As they give off oxygen, oxidizing agents can lead other substances, such as oil, to combust.
Firefighters on July 17 fight the oil inferno at the Dalian port where the two pipeline explosions occurred earlier in the day. The fire was extinguished 15 hours after the blasts.
Steps to improve safety in the oil industry will lead to higher operating costs in China and abroad, the Wall Street Journal reported. But don't expect drilling to stop anytime soon.
"Energy and metals consultancy Platts estimates that China's oil demand in June hit a record of 8.8 million barrels of oil a day, 10 percent more than last year," the paper reported.
Photograph from ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images
Into the Fire
Firefighters on July 17 stream toward an inferno raging in the wake of oil pipeline explosions at a port in Dalian, China.
Nine days later, on July 26, Chinese officials declared the spill contained. Two terminals that can accept tankers capable of carrying 150,000 tons of oil and other cargo resumed service, Reuters reported.
Dalian's main crude terminal, capable of receiving 300,000-ton carriers, may remain closed for several weeks, according to the news agency.