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Venezuela Puerto La Cruz Refinery Hit by Blackout - Sources

Reuters, November 28, 2016
Reuters

Venezuela's Puerto La Cruz refinery was hit by a blackout on Sunday night, a union leader and workers said, adding to refining troubles in the oil-rich country although the complex was barely operational before the outage. Puerto La Cruz, with capacity of 187,000 barrels-per-day was barely refining any crude this week, sources said on Wednesday. Only two of its three crude distillation units were active before the blackout, the sources said.

"There's a generalized blackout at the Puerto La Cruz refinery," union leader Jose Bodas told Reuters on Sunday.

Four workers confirmed the outage. "The lights are out in the entire refinery. The control room is without electricity and that's something completely unusual," said one employee, who asked to remain anonymous because he is not allowed to talk to media. PDVSA did not immediately respond to a request for information.

OPEC nation Venezuela's refineries have been plagued with blackouts, equipment issues and stoppages for years. PDVSA often blames problems on saboteurs intent on bringing down socialist rule in Venezuela and says its foes and hostile media try to exaggerate refinery issues. Critics say years of underinvestment and poor maintenance are the cause. U.S. refining firm Citgo Petroleum is sending more products to its parent company, PDVSA, to compensate for problems in the domestic network, according to sources and Reuters data.


(Reporting by Mircely Guanipa; Writing by Alexandra Ulmer; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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Copyright 2017 Thomson Reuters. Click for restrictions.

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