September 18, 2010 at 12:16 pm #2526
Incidents and accidents involving Venezuela’s PDVSA
Reuters – Saturday, September 18
A huge fire that knocked a major Caribbean oil terminal out of action until further notice adds to the woes of Venezuela’s state-run PDVSA and temporarily curbs its efforts to increase exports to China. [ID:N16185775]
Since President Hugo Chavez fired thousands of PDVSA managers and technicians after a strike in 2002, the company has suffered frequent incidents affecting its operations.
Experts say mismanagement, electrical faults and lack of maintenance have been the most frequent causes. Following is a list of major PDVSA accidents and incidents since 2002:
* Three fires break out at oil storage terminals on Bonaire and Curacao islands, and at a loading dock at the Cardon refinery on the mainland. The two terminal fires are believed to have been caused by lightning storms.
* An explosion forces the shut down of the alkylation unit at the Puerto La Cruz refinery. There are no casualties.
* Several oil spills mar Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela’s oldest oil exploration area. PDVSA blames thieves who it said were sabotaging facilities to steal equipment.
* The Aban Pearl, a natural gas exploration rig, sank in the Caribbean sea. All 95 workers were rescued safely.
* At least two barges operating on Lake Maracaibo sank while carrying out maintenance work on wells. There were no casualties.
* A worker was buried and killed while operating a coke transporter at the Jose solids terminal in the eastern state of Anzoategui.
* A worker at the Petroboscan joint venture, formed between PDVSA and Chevron <CVX.N>, died of a head injury while operating a drilling rig in Zulia state.
* A dozen failures at refineries were recorded, including the spillage of 140,000 gallons of gasoline at Curacao’s giant Isla refinery, run by PDVSA. That led to the evacuation of schools and businesses in the area.
* There were five accidents that claimed three lives and left five people injured at the Paraguana Refining Complex — one of the biggest refinery complexes in the world with the capacity to process 955,000 barrels per day .
* Five workers died and 20 were wounded in an explosion during November at the CRP, one of the worst accidents of recent years.
* After six incidents at the complex in a year, the CRP manager admitted that the frequency of fires, explosions, leaks, and leaks of oil had almost doubled compared to 2004, and that the incidents had increased in severity.
* A report said PDVSA would need to spend about $500 million to clean up the company’s environmental liabilities, including abandoned hazardous waste.
* A huge fire killed at least two workers at the La Salina boarding terminal in Zulia state.
* An explosion at an electrical substation at the 640,000 bpd Amuay refinery, Venezuela’s largest, injured two workers.
* Two drilling barges caught fire and sank in Lake Maracaibo. (Reporting by Marianna Parraga, Daniel Wallis and Brian Ellsworth; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)
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