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PDVSA Amuay HDS fire blazes – slows output

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    basil parmesan
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    Tuesday March 15, 2011
    Fire blazes at top Venezuela refinery, slows output

    CARACAS (Reuters) – A fire blazing at a unit of Venezuela’s largest refinery Amuay slowed but did not halt operations at the 645,000 barrel-per-day facility on Tuesday, a spokesman at state oil company PDVSA said.
    A PDVSA spokesman said the fire that began in the morning was under control but not yet extinguished, and PDVSA was still evaluating whether the damage required Amuay to close its catalytic cracker gasoline unit.
    Venezuelan newspaper EL Mundo said the fire began with an explosion that broke windows on houses in the northwestern Paraguana peninsula where the refinery is located. The fire happened at 5 in the morning at one of the furnaces in the hydrodesulfurization unit 4 (HD4), the spokesman said on state television.
    (Reporting by Andrew Cawthorne and Marianna Parraga; Writing by Frank Jack Daniel; Editing by John Picinich)

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