Venezuelan refinery flare-ups linger

Firefighters continued to battle flare-ups at tanks in the Amuay section of the 940,000-b/d Paraguana Refining Center in Venezuela Aug. 29, 4 days after a deadly explosion and fire. The death toll rose to 48.

According to press reports, the early-morning explosion resulted after a gas cloud formed and ignited over the storage area of the 645,000-b/d Amuay refinery, which is linked with the 270,000-b/d Cardon refinery in Falcon state. The smaller Bajo Grande refinery in Zulia also is part of the complex.

The flare-ups spoiled official announcements that the fire had been extinguished.

The Amuay refinery was shut down, but no operating units were damaged.

A housing area near the Amuay storage area sustained major damage, according to reports. Fatalities were reported to be mainly military personnel and family members.

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