& Tobago


Very usefull links


News links




Dow Jones

Oil price



Views and News





PDVSA investigating refinery unit missile blast in Amuay refinary


PDVSA CRP Amuay unit, Paraguana, Venezuela.

By Argus

Petroleumworld 10 30 2020

A 100,000 b/d crude distillation unit at Venezuelan state-owned PdV's (PDVSA) 635,000 b/d Amuay refinery exploded yesterday, according to a refinery manager and a labor union official on the site.

The unit was in recirculation mode when the incident occurred at 2:37pm ET.

The blast at Amuay's CD-4 is a setback in PDVSA's choppy efforts repair Amuay and the nearby 305,000 b/d Cardon refinery in order to boost gasoline production. Venezuela has been in the throes of a severe fuel shortage for most of this year.

The manager described the damage at Amuay as "very considerable" but said an investigation is still underway.

The union official said the incident may have been caused by a water leak that triggered a vapor blast.

The internal damages "appear initially to be so severe that the unit could be irrecoverable and may have to be rebuilt completely, but we have to wait until accident investigators complete their technical reports," the union official said. He blamed PdV for cutting safety corners in its rush to manufacture gasoline.

Amuay's CD-4 and CD-1 distillation units "should have been shut down completely when the refinery's industrial services failed on 23 October, but PDVSA ordered that both units be placed into recirculation mode avoid lengthy safe restart protocols," the official added.

The Amuay refinery manager confirmed that the CD-4 and CD-1 units had been in recirculation mode since water and electricity supplies to the refinery failed early this week. CD-1 is still in recirculation mode.

In familiar remarks today, President Nicolas Maduro said the refinery blast was a US-financed terrorist attack using a "powerful long-range weapon" designed to set the plant ablaze, adding that oil minister Tareck El Aissami would soon present evidence of the attack.

His government frequently blames the US and Venezuela's US-backed political opposition for infrastructure breakdowns, including electricity blackouts.

The US routinely escalates sanctions on Venezuela, but the Pentagon has dismissed military options to force Maduro out of power.

In his press conference today, Maduro said PDVSA has 20 days of gasoline supply, without specifying the daily consumption figure on which the estimate is based.

He pledged that all of PDVSA's refineries will restart gasoline production by December.

PDVSA has 1.3mn b/d of installed refining capacity in Venezuela, almost all of which is broken.



Editor & Publisher:Elio Ohep /
Contact Email:

CopyRight © 1999-2020, Elio Ohep A. - All Rights Reserved. Legal Information

PW in Top 100 Energy Sites

CopyRight©1999-2020, Petroleumworld   / Elio Ohep - All rights reserved


This site is a public free site and it contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner.We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of business, environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have chosen to view the included information for research, information, and educational purposes. For more information go to: If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission fromPetroleumworld or the copyright owner of the material.