A Line of Light Spotted in Various Parts of S’pore Last Night (25 June) is Allegedly from Oil Refinery in Johor


While skywatching seems like a pretty mundane activity that yields almost exactly the same results every time you engage in it, there’s no denying that fascinating and even unique sights that appear in our skies from time to time.

And many witnessed such a sight just yesterday (25 June) evening, when many Singaporeans across the island noticed a visible orange bar of light that appeared in the sky.

Many took the chance to share the uncommon sighting in the CloudSpotting & SkySpotting Singapore Facebook group, providing videos and photos of the light being seen in all parts of Singapore.

One member even said that the bar looked like it was “stationary and flickering” at the same time.

Bar of Light Likely from Oil Refinery in Johor

After photos and videos were posted in the group, group members started to discuss and speculate why and how exactly did the bar end up being seen in the sky in such a manner.

Soon enough, there were Facebook users who suggested that the “bar of light” might have been from an oil refinery in Johor, Malaysia.

In particular, netizens pointed the cause of the light bar to flaring, a process that removes excess hydrocarbons at refineries due to safety reasons.

Several commenters explained that water and carbon dioxide are released into the atmosphere due to the flaring process, which causes the light from the flaring process to interact with ice crystals in the atmosphere, producing the “bar of light” that Singaporeans saw in the sky.

Of course, there were also other netizens who left their speculations jokingly, saying things such as “The portal is open…” and “Hungry ghost festival came early this year?” in a lighthearted tone in the comments section.

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Oil Refinery in Johor Restarting Operations

The flaring process is usually carried out when oil refineries first start operating or when they shut down, and it’s no wonder why the phenomenon occurred given the fact that an oil refinery in Johor recently restarted operations.

The oil refinery in question is Pengerang Refining and Petrochemical (PRefChem), which was first closed down due to a fire and explosion that took place in March 2020 as mentioned by Reuters.

The incident took the lives of five individuals.

The oil refinery, which is apparently the “Largest refinery complex in Malaysia” according to its website, recently restarted operations in May this year.

Reuters also added that the refinery is currently processing existing crude oil from its storage tanks.

Thereafter, it will start to process supplies from Saudi Aramco.

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Featured Image: Facebook (Ian Wui + Thomas Quah)