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Refinery Fires

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    Fire at Venezuelan Oil Refinery, but No Injuries, State Oil Company Says

    CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — A fire broke out early Saturday at Venezuela’s 180,000-barrel-a-day Puerto La Cruz oil refinery but has been brought under control. There were no injuries, the state oil company said.
      Petroleos de Venezuela SA, or PDVSA, said in a statement that the incident would not cause any supply disruptions because inventory levels were sufficient.
    PDVSA said officials are trying to determine the cause of the fire, which broke out in the refinery’s alkylation unit.
    The Puerto la Cruz refinery exports some of its production, but mainly supplies gasoline and other products for Venezuela’s east. PDVSA said those activities were continuing normally.
    PDVSA has suffered repeatedly from accidents and mishaps at its facilities in recent years, drawing criticism of lax safety procedures from Venezuela’s head of health and safety.
    There were at least two fires and one accident, including one that killed a person and injured four, last year at the Paraguana refining complex, Venezuela’s largest.
    The Puerto La Cruz refinery also was shutdown or partially shutdown at least twice in 2005, once for a power failure.
    Venezuela is the world’s eighth-largest oil exporter and was the fourth-biggest supplier of crude to the United States last year.
    Fire breaks out at Carson refinery
    Article Launched: 03/15/2007 09:55:56 PM PDT
    Employees of the BP refinery in Carson stand on the corner of Wilmington Avenue and 223rd Street after an explosion, followed by fire, shook the plant. Workers said they jumped the fence surrounding the plant as they fled the area. (Steven Georges / Press-Telegram)CARSON – A small fire broke out Thursday at BP’s massive refinery south of the San Diego (405) Freeway, but there were no injuries and only minor damage, authorities said.
    The fire began about 1:30 p.m. in one of the refinery’s “cracking towers,” where oil is processed into gasoline and other petroleum products, firefighters said. Employees at the plant reported an explosion.
    Firefighters and on-site safety crews were able to extinguish the blaze within six minutes, said Inspector Ed Lozano of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
    The blaze will not affect refinery output. The facility processes about 260,000 barrels of crude oil daily for the Southern California market, said BP spokesman Walter Neil.
    – Kristopher Hanson

    Small Fire Burns at Refinery in CarsonEquipment May Have Overheated
    CARSON – Mar. 15, 2007 (CNS) – A small fire was reported Thursday at a refinery in Carson, but no one was hurt, authorities said.

    Firefighters were sent to the 22600 block of South Wilmington Avenue at 1:34 p.m., said Inspector Ron Haralson of the county fire department.
    Within a few minutes, most of the units were canceled, Haralson said. Some remained on scene to cool down a piece of equipment that may have overheated.
    The cause of the fire was under investigation.

    Chalmette refinery fire extinguished
    Tuesday, March 13, 2007
    St. Bernard/
    A small fire inside the Chalmette Refinery late Sunday was quickly extinguished by the refinery’s fire team before the St. Bernard Fire Department arrived, plant spokeswoman Carolina Asirifi said.
    “It was a small fire handled by our in-plant response team,” Asirifi said. “It was a piece of coke that dropped out of the coke pit, and there was no impact to the community or operations.” The fire occurred in a unit at the end of the refining process that basically heats an asphalt-like substance into a valuable product.
    The plant’s protocol is to call the Fire Department and other authorities at the beginning of all incidents even if they appear minor, Asirifi said.

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