Update: Venezuelan Oil Minister El Aissami announced moments ago that the fire has been extinguished and normal operations are to resume immediately. The fire was started by a spark from the builder pump that did not effect processing centers for crude.
Moments ago a large explosion followed by billowing smoke from an ongoing conflagration was spotted at the Paraguana Oil Refinery Near Punto Fijo, Venezuela. Residents are reporting that emergency services are on scene, but the fire is now burning uncontrolled in surrounding brush and facilities.
There is no report on any injured or killed persons at this time. However, when a similar incident happened in 2012, an explosion caused by the ignition of a leaking gas at the Amuay refinery killed 48 people, primarily National Guard troops stationed at the plant, and injured 151 others.
As of 2012, it refined 955 thousand barrels per day (151,800 m3/d). The complex is located in the Paraguaná Peninsula in Falcón state (Amuay and Cardón refineries) and the western coast of Lake Maracaibo in the Zulia state (Bajo Grande Refinery). The complex accounts for 71% of the refining capacity of Venezuela and it belongs to the state-owned company Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA). A crippling incident such as this could exacerbate the already tenuous gas situation in Venezuela.