MOSCOW (MRC) -- A fire caused by a lightning storm broke out at Venezuela's Puerto la Cruz refinery on Monday, leaving a tall plume of black smoke, according to government officials and sources, said Reuters.
The event is the most recent outage affecting state-run PDVSA's facilities, following another fire on the weekend that hit a fuel terminal and a tanker.
The incident left no injuries, but the flames had not been extinguished and workers were removed from the facility, located on Venezuela's eastern coast, according to oil minister Tareck El Aissami.
"The refinery's tanks and plants were not affected. But is a considerable fire within the refinery," he said on state TV.
Venezuela's deputy minister for Risk Management and Civil Protection Carlos Perez said earlier on Twitter that PDVSA's firefighters and other crews were on site fighting the flames, which began at a residual deposit in the refinery.
"A residual deposit in the industrial services area caught fire around 2 p.m.. It's a separating area where fuel goes, including leftover gasoline," one of the sources said.
As per MRC, Venezuela's second largest refinery has suspended gasoline production following an internal electrical failure, four sources with knowledge of the situation said. Work was being carried out on Sunday to resume operations of the Cardon crude oil reformer and distiller, one of the sources said. A blackout took place on Saturday afternoon at the facility, which has the capacity to process 310,000 bpd of crude, and although power has returned to the facility, production at the refinery remains halted.