Amuay oil plant in Venezuela restarts after blast

Venezuela’s Amuay oil plant restarts after last week blast

Sat Sep 1, 2012 11:49AM GMT

The operations in Venezuela’s biggest oil refinery have been resumed nearly one week after it was hit by an explosion which sparked a huge blaze at the facility, the Venezuelan national oil company (PDVSA) says.

“Operational activities have resumed safely and gradually [at Amuay refinery],” PDVSA said in a statement on Friday.

The explosion took place early Saturday at the Amuay plant, which is part of the second-biggest refinery complex in the world, located on the Paraguana Peninsula in the northwestern Falcon State.

The explosion and the ensuing fire at the oil refinery killed nearly 50 people and left several others injured.

The statement further added that two production units with a combined capacity of 160,000 barrels of oil per day were now running, and that a third was due to resume production soon.

The cause of the deadly blast, which inflicted damages on hundreds of homes and shops nearby, is still under investigation.

Following the incident, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez declared three days of national mourning for the deceased.

Venezuela is South America’s biggest oil producing nation and the Amuay refinery produces 645,000 barrels of crude a day.

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