Earthquake interrupts operations at Chilean refinery

Chile’s Empresa Nacional del Petroleo (Enap) has halted partial operations at its 104,000-b/d Aconcagua refinery at Concon, Chile, following an Aug. 23 earthquake in the Valparaiso region along the country’s Pacific coast, the state-owned company said.

Hydrogen-producing plants that supply the refinery were shuttered as a safety precaution as a result of the 6.6-magnitutde earthquake, causing increased flaring at the site, Enap said in an Aug. 23 release.

While no damage to the refinery has been report, equipment technicians are reviewing the integrity of production units before operations are restarted, according to the company.

Enap said operations remain uninterrupted at Enap’s 116,000-b/d Bio Bio refinery at Hualpen.

A timetable for the full restart of the Aconcagua refinery was not disclosed.

In February 2010, both the Aconcagua and Bio Bio refineries stopped operating due to damage and electrical problems following an 8.8-magnitude earthquake that rocked the central southern part of Chile (OGJ Online, Mar. 2, 2010).

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