Fire at Argentine oil treatment plant put out after three days

by Reuters
Monday, 24 March 2014 00:52 GMT

(Recasts with fire extinguished)

BUENOS AIRES, March 23 (Reuters) - A fire at an oil treatment plant in Argentina that raged for three days - largely destroying the facility and trimming state energy firm YPF's total output - was extinguished late on Sunday, the company said.

YPF said it was working to cool what was left of its Cerro Divisadero plant in the province of Mendoza, some 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southwest of Buenos Aires.

"The operation carried out with provincial and national authorities enabled flames from the fire that started on Friday to be finished off," YPF said in a statement.

The Cerro Divisadero plant produced 1,460 cubic meters (9,183 barrels) of oil per day, or 3.8 percent of YPF's total output, before the fire paralyzed operations.

The company said it was working to reestablish production and reopen installations that had been closed as a preventative measure. It did not specify the role of those facilities in its operations.

YPF has said its nearby Lujan de Cuyo refinery, which has production capacity of 106,000 barrels of oil per day, has been drawing oil from other plants and has been operating normally.

YPF has said the Cerro Divisadero plant was largely destroyed as oil tanks melted away, but that it cannot yet detail the extent of total damages.

Several people suffered injuries in the fire, although none were severe.

Earlier on Sunday YPF said it had been working to keep oil from spilling past a containment wall at Cerro Divisadero and into a nearby river. (Reporting by Jorge Otaola; Writing by Mitra Taj; Editing by Sophie Hares and Eric Walsh)

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