A faulty piece of machinery which caused giant plumes of black smoke from the Essar Stanlow Oil Refinery has been fixed.
A spokesman for the Stanlow Oil refinery has now confirmed the compressor which was causing problems has been mended.
The smoke was first spotted yesterday afternoon with scores of pictures appearing on social media.
People from as far away as Southport reported seeing smoke and flame at the top of the giant chimney.
An Essar spokesman said the problem was fixed yesterday evening with the smoke stopping at the same time.
Previously, whilst the smoke was billowing, he said there was no danger to the public from it and there was no cause for alarm.
He said the smoke was the result of increased ‘flaring’ - the burning off of excess gas - after a piece of machinery called a compressor had 'tripped'.
The spokesman said: “When the compressor trips, the safety mechanism immediately kicks in and the gas goes to the flaring system where it is burnt off.
“The reason people can see a lot of smoke is because it is part of the safety mechanism.”
Essar is a multinational corporation with annual revenues of US$35 billion and investments in Steel, Energy, Infrastructure and Services.
With operations in more than 29 countries, it employs over 60,000 people.
According to its website Stanlow Oil refinery has seen an 18% increase in the volume of crude oil it has refined – helping Essar Oil UK achieve its highest-ever profits.