Commodities

Venezuela’s PDVSA manages fire at small refinery and restarts other plants in case of outage By Stocksak


© Stocksak. FILE PHOTO A logo of the Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA can be seen at a Caracas station on May 17, 2019. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado/File Photo

(Stocksak – Venezuela’s smallest refining facility has resumed after a power outage last Wednesday, a minister from Venezuela stated.

The incident at state oil company PDVSA’s 146,000-barrel-per-day El Palito refinery occurred on Wednesday when a fuel tank was struck by lightning, Interior Minister Remigio Ceballos said in a state TV broadcast late that day, without providing further details.

“It has been taken care of by firefighters and is under control without any further incident. Ceballos indicated that cool-down efforts were being made at the moment.

PDVSA, the company that operates Venezuela’s entire refining process, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Power outages and blackouts are common in this South American country. Its aging refinery network needs urgent repairs and replacements.

A fire at a vacuum tower and a power blackout last week completely halted Venezuela’s 955,000-barrel-per-day Paraguana Refining Center on the country’s western coast, which ties together the Amuay and Cardon refineries.

Two of Cardon’s four crude distillations units were in service again as of Thursday. Workers were trying to reopen operations at the naphtha reformer following the blackout, according to three sources close by the complex.

Two separate sources claimed that only one of five distillation plants and the catalytic crackeder – which is key to making gasoline – were operational at the Amuay refinery. The second distillation unit will be the next plant to be returned to service.

Another lightning strike caused an earlier fire at the Puerto La Cruz refinery, which produces 187,000 bpd of gasoline, on Venezuela’s eastern coast. It also struck a nearby fuel terminal in September.

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