09 April 2013 18:50 [Source: ICIS news]
MEDELLIN, Colombia (ICIS)--Argentina’s Yacimientos Petroliferos Fiscales (YPF) said on Tuesday that it has started to process crude oil at the La Plata refinery near Buenos Aires.
“The team of YPF specialists working to normalise and restart operations at the La Plata industrial complex, affected by the storm last Tuesday, has finished draining water from the remaining sections of the refinery that were still waterlogged,” the company said.
Workers have begun rebuilding equipment and damaged parts of the Topping C unit, and have rebuilt the control room in a substation that supplies the country’s largest oil refinery, the company said.
Fuel supply is being restored at the terminal operations, which reopened over the weekend, accoridng to YPF.
A source familiar with the refinery’s operations said production at the refinery will likely be 15-20% lower than in 2012, and that additional fuel would have to be imported this year to meet demand.
YPF said last week that it had to temporarily suspended operations after a fire broke out following heavy rains and an electrical outage.
According to YPF, the fire started at a coke furnace and a distillation unit around 20:00 hours local time (00:00 hours GMT) after flooding caused by heavy storms cut electrical supply to the refinery.
The 188,000 bbl/day La Plata refinery accounts for 30% of Argentina’s refining capacity.
YPF was nationalised in May 2012 by President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s government in an effort to reinvigorate a domestic industry marred by a decade of production stagnation.
The company recently said it aims to boost oil and natural gas production by 32% by the end of 2017.
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