July 27, 2005

Australian oil refinery evacuated after bomb threat

SYDNEY (Reuters) - A telephone bomb threat forced the
evacuation of workers from the Lytton oil refinery in the
northern Australian city of Brisbane on Thursday, police and
refinery owners Caltex Australia Ltd. said.

"Employees at the refinery and adjacent terminal ... have
been safely evacuated, except for essential operators, who are
in a secure area," Caltex said in a statement.

Caltex, Australia's only listed oil marketer and refiner,
said operations at the refinery were unaffected although truck
access had been suspended.

"There is no threat to fuel supply," Caltex said.

Police gave few details about the threat other than to say
it had been made by telephone to the refinery on the outskirts
of the city. A bomb squad team was at the refinery, they said.

The refinery had been evacuated and an exclusion zone set
up around it as a precaution, police said, although residents
living near the refinery had not been told to evacuate.

The Lytton refinery was commissioned in 1965 and with a
crude oil throughput of 16.8 million liters per day is the
largest petroleum fuels refinery in Queensland state and
fifth-largest fuels refinery in Australia.

On average, production at the Lytton refinery is comprised
of 45 percent petrol, 35 percent diesel, 13 percent jet fuel, 2
percent fuel oil and 5 percent LPG and other gases.

Australia, a close U.S. ally, has been on a medium security
alert level since shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on
the United States but has never suffered a major peacetime
attack on home soil.