Explosion May Raise Gas Prices

3-24-05 - TEXAS CITY, Texas (AP) Officials at BP's Texas City refinery say they believe they've found all the dead and injured from an explosion that killed 14 workers.

Plant manager Don Parus said today that about 70 workers were injured in yesterday's blast and fire. He also says all workers have been accounted for but one. He says that worker clocked out, but hasn't contacted his family.

Parus says the dead were employed by a contractor and were performing maintenance work on a unit that enhances gasoline octane when the explosion happened yesterday.

The oil refinery could affect prices at the gas pump.

The BP refinery processes more than 400-thousand barrels of crude oil a day. That's about three percent of the total US supply.

BP says parts of the plant not directly affected by the explosion have continued to operate normally.

A BP spokesman says, "Production is steady."

Gasoline futures prices shot up by nearly two cents a gallon on news of the explosion, but have moved back down a bit. Gas futures were up just over a penny this morning. Analysts say that should mean only a slight rise in prices at the pump.