PDVSA's Largest Refining Complex Halted After Blackout

Reuters, October 20, 2022

A small fire at a vacuum tower and a power blackout halted Venezuela's 955,000-barrel-per-day Paraguana Refining Center early on Thursday, according to six sources close to operations.

The blackout affected the entire complex, which ties together the Amuay and Cardon oil refineries, essential for supplying fuel for domestic use.

"Everything is stopped, there's not even electricity in the offices," said one of the sources, who asked not to be identified.

The fire was minor and was controlled quickly and began in the vacuum tower of plant 2 at Amuay.

But the fire caused a general blackout at the complex, one of the sources said.

State oil company PDVSA, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment, was attempting to restore power in the refineries, which remained halted later in the morning.

Venezuela has suffered intermittent fuel shortages over the last two years.

(Reporting by Mircely Guanipa in Maracay; Writing by Marianna Parraga; Editing by Gary McWilliams, Peter Graff and Chizu Nomiyama)

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