Buying A Home Near An Oil & Gas Refinery

refinery near homes

If you are buying a home these days you should probably do your due diligence on oil & gas refineries that are within a few miles of your neighborhood.   

There are lots of reasons why you might not want to live within a few blocks or miles of a refinery.  Air quality, SMOG, fires, burn-offs, toxic chemicals, explosions, pipeline spills, oil train derailments & eyesores are all part of the elements you get living in close proximity.  

One of the biggest concerns of a prospective home buyer today is the air quality and safety of a neighborhood.  It is not always transparent if you are new to a neighborhood if there have been historic health and safety issues from a refinery nearby.  In fact, refineries have dozens of local public relations people on staff to keep the surrounding communities appeased by donating to charities and sponsoring local events.  Public relation is a huge part of trying to hide air quality and potential hazardous safety issues that might not be widely known by the community. uses public data and satellite images to locate refinery locations around the World.  Refineries are often located near the ocean and large bodies of water where it also might be desirable to live.  Competition for real estate on the water is not easy and sometimes people tend to take price discounts for ocean views but risk living close to a refinery.  

Oil & gas refineries are not hard to find but real estate websites typically don't show these points of interest on a map when you are buying a home.  Now with Refinery Maps you can easily find well oil and gas refineries and related health and safety issues in any neighborhood. has over 1000 refinery and historic health and safety maps.  Search the map for "refinery" and look for the red dots.  

We often get emails from real estate agents in areas with a high concentration of oil and gas refineries in neighborhoods.   These real estate agents are looking for data to help their clients better understand oil & gas activity, air quality, and safety in the neighborhood near the home.  This is often true of out-of-state buyers looking at homes who are unfamiliar with the area.  

Homebuyers from out of the area often want to know if there have been any fires, explosions, leaks, pipeline accidents, or oil spills near the home for sale. is a tool to better understand the historic activity in the area with news articles tied directly to the specific location where the incident occurred. is also actively trying to get this health and data to be used by real estate companies like Zillow, RedFin, HomeSnap &  We think oil & gas refinery data should be an attribute used by real estate companies similar to how Walkscore provides information about things nearby a home like schools, restaurants, and parks.  

Most real estate companies have been very reluctant to share this data with prospective home buyers for obvious reasons.  Why would any real estate agent want to give a reason NOT to buy a home?  Hopefully, this culture of dishonesty will change in the near future and this data can provide some transparency.  

Buying a home next to an oil and gas refinery does come with certain risks and considerations. Here are some factors to keep in mind:

Health and Safety Concerns: Living in close proximity to an oil and gas refinery can potentially expose you to air pollution, odors, and emissions associated with industrial activities. These emissions may contain pollutants that can have health effects, particularly for vulnerable individuals such as children, the elderly, or those with pre-existing respiratory conditions.

Environmental Hazards: Refineries handle hazardous materials and may pose environmental risks, including the potential for accidents or spills that could impact the surrounding area. In the event of a major incident, there could be safety concerns, property damage, and even the need for temporary evacuation.

Property Value and Insurance: The presence of an oil and gas refinery nearby could potentially affect the resale value of your property. Additionally, obtaining homeowners' insurance coverage might be more challenging or expensive due to the perceived risks associated with living near industrial facilities.

Noise and Visual Impact: Refineries can generate noise from their operations, including machinery and transportation activities. They may also have a significant visual impact on the surrounding area, which could affect the aesthetics of your property.

Before purchasing a home near an oil and gas refinery, it's important to thoroughly research and understand the potential risks and impacts. Consider consulting with local authorities, environmental agencies, or experts who can provide more specific information about the particular refinery and its operations. Additionally, reviewing any available environmental impact assessments or reports related to the refinery can provide insights into the potential risks.

Ultimately, the decision to buy a home near an oil and gas refinery should be based on a thorough assessment of the associated risks, personal preferences, and comfort level with the potential impacts of living in close proximity to industrial operations.