Lindsey Oil Refinery

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Lindsey Oil Refinery
Refinery entrance
Lindsey Oil Refinery is located in Lincolnshire
Lindsey Oil Refinery
Location of Lindsey Oil Refinery
CountryEngland, United Kingdom
CityNorth Killingholme, North Lincolnshire
Coordinates53°38′26″N 0°15′28″W / 53.64063°N 0.25782°W / 53.64063; -0.25782Coordinates: 53°38′26″N 0°15′28″W / 53.64063°N 0.25782°W / 53.64063; -0.25782
Refinery details
Owner(s)Total S.A.
CommissionedMay 1968
Capacity200,000 bbl/d (32,000 m3/d)
No. of employees500

Lindsey Oil Refinery is an oil refinery in North Killingholme, Lincolnshire, England owned by Total S.A.. It lies to the north of the Humber Refinery, owned by rival oil company Phillips 66, and the railway line to Immingham Docks. Immingham Power Station, owned by VPI Immingham, provides the electricity and heat for the fractionation processes.

History and operation[edit]

The refinery entered service in May 1968 as a joint project between Total and Fina and currently employs a permanent staff of around 500, as well as several hundred contractors on site, rising to up to several thousand during major turnaround and maintenance projects. It is named after the former Lindsey pre-1974 local government area of Lincolnshire. In 1999, Total took full control of the plant, when it bought Fina.

It processes approximately 10,000,000 tons of crude oil per year, or 200,000 barrels per day via two pipelines. This makes Lindsey Britain's third largest oil refinery.[1] It produces around 35 types of product.

Crude oil is imported via two pipelines, connecting the 1,000-metre jetty five miles away at Immingham Dock, to the refinery.

Production units[edit]

In the 1980s, a fluid catalytic cracker, an alkylation unit, a visbreaker, and an MTBE (Methyl tert-butyl ether) unit (for high octane petrol) were added.

In 2007, a distillate hydrotreater (HDS) was built. A hydrogen production unit (a methane steam reformer for the hydrotreater process) is being built, for completion in 2009. The new plant will provide ultra-low sulfur diesel and mean different types of crude oil can be processed, that can be made in a conventional catalytic cracker or hydrocracker. It was built from June 2008 – June 2009 by Jacobs Engineering.

2009 workers dispute[edit]

On 28 January 2009, approximately 800 of Lindsey Oil Refinery's local contractors went on strike following the appointment by the Italian construction contractor IREM of several hundred European (mainly Italian and Portuguese) contractors on the site at a time of high unemployment in the local and global economy.

Subsequently, sympathy walkouts at other UK petroleum, power and chemical sites took place. 700 workers were sacked at the plant in June 2009, resulting in further worker walkouts at other UK sites. Negotiations led to the reinstatement of 647 workers at the end of June 2009.

2010 accident[edit]

On Tuesday 29 June 2010 an explosion and subsequent fire broke out at the plant, killing Robert Greenacre, a 24-year-old worker, and injuring others. It originated beneath an Atmospheric Distillation Column (CDU-2) at a steam out point where maintenance was being carried out.[2][3][4] Total reported that firefighters had found traces of asbestos in the refinery's crude oil distillation unit three days after the initial explosion.[5]

Local impact[edit]

The refinery's presence causes a considerable amount of traffic to pass through the village of North Killingholme at the time of work hours commencing and ending. This has caused some disputes with the refinery's neighbouring community.[citation needed]

In December 2004, Total were fined £12,500 for allowing 60,000 litres of crude oil to leak into the Humber Estuary.[6]


  1. ^ "British Refinery Workers Strike over Influx of Cheap Foreign Labour". OilVoice. Retrieved 29 January 2009.
  2. ^ "Workers sent home from blast-hit Lindsey Oil Refinery". BBC News Online Humberside. BBC. 1 July 2010. Retrieved 1 July 2010.
  3. ^ "2nd UPDATE:Total UK Lindsey Refinery Fire Under Investigation -". 30 June 2010. Retrieved 1 July 2010.[dead link]
  4. ^ "Safety fears build at Lindsey Oil Refinery as workers sent home". This Is Grimsby. 1 July 2010. Archived from the original on 4 July 2010. Retrieved 1 July 2010.
  5. ^ "Workers sent home from blast-hit Lindsey Oil Refinery". BBC News. 1 July 2010. Retrieved 1 July 2010.
  6. ^ "Oil firm fined over Humber spill". BBC News Online. Retrieved 9 April 2008.

External links[edit]