Fawley Refinery, England / by Alastair Wiper

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Fawley Oil Refinery is the largest oil refinery in the UK, refining approximately 330,000 barrels of crude oil a day (20% of the UK's capacity). Owned by Esso, the refinery was established in 1921 and lies on the coast of the Solent, not far from Southampton, employing around 2,300 people. Products such as propane and butane, petrol, jet fuel, diesel, marine fuels, heating oil, lubricant basestocks and fuel oil are produced at Fawley.

The refinery also sits at the edge of the New Forest, a 500 km2 area containing pasture land, heathland and forest, making it the largest contiguous area of unsown vegetation in lowland Britain. Species of animal exist here that do not exist anywhere else in the UK, and the most prominent of these is the New Forest Pony which runs free all over the area. Quite often they literally run, and a couple of times I thought they were going to stampede right into me. It doesnt sound that cool to get run over by a pony ...

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