March 11, 2014
La Plata: Largest oil refinery operations halted, fire put out
Emergency teams put out a fire at Argentina’s largest oil refinery, but operations remained at a standstill at the plant owned by YPF, the state-controlled energy company said.
The fire, which started late on Tuesday after a severe storm, forced YPF to shut down the 188,000 barrel-per-day refinery in the coastal area of La Plata, Buenos Aires province.
No one was hurt in the blaze, which was caused by excess rainwater that triggered an electricity malfunction, YPF said. “At around 1pm the last source of fire was put out,” said Gabriel Pocai, the chief firefighter on the scene. The company said it was implementing a plan to resume operations at the plant.
YPF’s shares fell 5.18 percent yesterday to close at 117.10 pesos.
YPF’s La Plata complex accounts for about 30 percent of Argentina’s oil-refining capacity and its closure could disrupt diesel supplies during the corn and soybean harvest.
YPF was renationalized last year as Argentina battles to reverse a long decline in natural gas and oil output. The company aims to boost oil and natural gas production 32 percent by the end of 2017.