Meet the giant company behind the Superior oil refinery that exploded

A group of onlookers watch a plume of black smoke billow.
A group of onlookers watch a plume of black smoke billow from the site of the Husky Energy oil refinery April 26 in Superior, Wis.
Derek Montgomery for MPR News

The refinery that erupted in smoke and fire last week in Superior, Wis., is a multi-national company worth billions.

Its majority shareholder is Li Ka-shing, the Hong Kong business magnate and the 23rd richest person in the world.

Here's a look at the Canadian-based company, its operations and safety record.

• The company has tentacles all over the globe. Husky is headquartered in Calgary, Alberta. However, it has facilities from gas drilling operations off the Chinese coast to the Prince George refinery in the middle of British Columbia. It was founded in 1938. It reported its revenue as $9.78 billion, its assets at $24.9 billion and profits of $695.9 million, according to Forbes.

• Husky is known as an "integrated energy company." That means it has its hands in everything from extracting crude oil to marketing refined products like gasoline or asphalt. Many of the world's biggest oil and gas companies are "integrated" due to the high cost of entering the industry.

• Li Ka-shing owns the most stake in Husky. L.F. Investments and Hutchison Whampoa Europe Investments control a combined 69.5 percent of Husky's shares, according to a Husky filing. At the top of a complicated web of trusts, holding companies and limited liability firms are Li and his family. While he retired in March, he remains an adviser to some of his companies, the South China Morning Post reported. Li's son is a co-chair of Husky's board. It employs more than 5,000 people across the world.

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• Husky produced 300,400 barrels of oil equivalent per day in the first quarter of 2018, according to a public filing. That's down by 30,000 barrels from the same period last year due in part to a decrease in heavy oil production in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan, Canada.

• Canadian officials have filed 10 charges against Husky over an oil spill in Saskatchewan. A damaged Husky pipeline spilled almost 60,000 gallons of oil in the province in July 2016, according to the CBC. The company also faces a potential $1 million fine for charges alleging Husky illegally permitted "the discharge of a substance to the environment that caused an adverse effect."

• Husky shut down an offshore oil facility after Canadian officials reprimanded the company over a safety issue. SeaRose, a "floating production, storage and offloading vessel," came too close to an iceberg off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, while carrying some 340,000 barrels of crude, the the CBC reported.

• Husky bought the Superior refinery in August 2017. The company bought the refinery from Calumet Specialty Products Partners LP for $435 million in cash, according to Reuters. Husky said it would retain about 180 workers in Superior, which can process Canadian heavy crude and light and medium barrels from Canada and North Dakota's Bakken region, and also boosts the company's asphalt production capacity, Reuters said.