Philadelphia energy firm files for bankruptcy one month after blast and blaze

Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES), owner of the South Philadelphia oil refinery that suffered a massive fire and explosions last month, is filing for bankruptcy. The company announced the plan in a press release Sunday.

The PES facility was the largest refinery on the East Coast and provided fuel for much of the Northeast. Previously announced plans to shut down affected more than 1,000 workers, Fox 29 Philadelphia reported.

A statement from the company said the June fire "caused substantial property damage, impacted the company’s liquidity and caused the recent suspension of refining operations at the complex."

In this June 21 photo, flames and smoke emerge from the Philadelphia Energy Solutions Refining Complex in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

In this June 21 photo, flames and smoke emerge from the Philadelphia Energy Solutions Refining Complex in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

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The fire, which lit up the early-morning sky in Philadelphia on June 21, closed area roads including Interstate 76. The fire happened in a tank containing butane and propane.

Though the refinery played a large role in the Northeast's fuel supply, Jonathan Aronson, a research analyst with Cornerstone Marco, said last month that imports from other sources could easily make up for its lost output.

"We're not expecting any major shocks to retail gasoline" prices, he said.

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In its Sunday press release, PES said it would continue working with federal, state and local governments looking into the June 21 explosions, with the goal of refining oil again.

"Today’s agreement provides PES Energy with the additional financing and liquidity necessary to ensure we can safely wind down our refining operations and, with the support of our insurers and stakeholders, best position the Company for a successful reorganization, the rebuilding of our damaged infrastructure, and a restart of our refining operations," Chief Executive Officer Mark Smith said. "The success of our plan is critical to energy supply and security for the region, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the City of Philadelphia."

The refining complex, which was established in 1866 as a storage facility, began refining oil products in 1870, according to PES. The facility, when up and running, can refine 335,00 barrels a day into jet fuel, gasoline, propane, home heating oil and other products.

Fox News' Tyler Olson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.