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Large Fire Breaks Out At Venezuelan Refinery At Which Iranian Experts Are Working

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Large Fire Breaks Out At Venezuelan Refinery At Which Iranian Experts Are Working

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A large fire broke out at the Cardon refinery at the Paraguana refining complex, in Venezuela’s north-western Falcon state.

The Cardon refinery has a capacity of 300,000 barrels per day capacity, and the fire was also confirmed by Falcon state Governor Victor Clark said, while two people familiar with the matter said gasoline output was halted.

The unit stopped working around noon, less than a month after it restarted with the help of equipment imported from Venezuela’s ally Iran, according to the sources, threatening an aggravation of fuel shortages that have plagued the South American country for months.

The equipment in question that came from Iran are catalytic cracking units. They are crucial for the production of finished fuel in most refineries. Cardon had been producing between 15,000 and 30,000 bpd of gasoline since restarting in mid-June.

The rest of Venezuela’s 1.3 million bpd refining network is mostly offline.

Venezuelan authorities reported that the fire was quickly suppressed and there were no damages and injuries.

Reportedly, Iranian experts present in Venezuela had even began attempting to repair the Cardon refinery and to get it operation again, and as such it is unknown what damage the fire actually caused.

 

Just days earlier before the incident, US Federal prosecutors filed a lawsuit to seize the gasoline aboard four Iranian tankers en route to Venezuela, in another apparent attempt by the White House to thwart the two nations’ economic collaboration.

According to the lawsuit, the prosecutors are aiming to stop the delivery of gasoline aboard the Liberia-flagged Bella and the Bering, and the Pandi and the Luna to also deter future deliveries.

The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, also seeks to halt revenues from petroleum sales to Iran, which Washington has been illegal sanctioning for decades.

Gasoline shortages in Venezuela, like Iran a member of OPEC, have been increasing due to he heavy sanctions regime by the US.

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