CARACAS, Venezuela, Sept. 5 (UPI) -- The Venezuelan oil minister said normal operations at its Amuay oil refinery should return in a matter of days following a deadly Aug. 25 explosion.
More than 40 people were killed and dozens more were injured when an explosion ignited two gas storage tanks at the Amuay refinery, the largest in Venezuela. The accident was one of the deadliest in the industry and forced the shutdown of a facility capable of processing 645,000 barrels of oil per day.
Venezuelan Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez said the facility was processing about 264,000 barrels of oil per day after some units at the refinery were restarted.
"In the next few days we'll have normalized our operations," he was quoted by Bloomberg News as saying.
Ramirez added that workers for state-run oil company Petroleos de Venezuela, known as PDVSA, were inspecting the refinery's infrastructure to ensure there weren't outstanding issues before returning it to full operation.
He said last week there was "no hurry" to get the refinery back in service early. PDVSA had around 10 days of inventory on hand and other refineries in the country are producing around 735,000 barrels of fuel per day, he said.
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