Venezuela refinery not fully back after power fault

CARACAS Sun Feb 17, 2013 4:39pm EST

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CARACAS Feb 17 (Reuters) - Venezuela's 146,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) El Palito refinery was still restarting operations on Sunday after an electrical fault hit the installation the day before, state oil company PDVSA said.

"The El Palito refinery continues the re-start of its process units," PDVSA said in a statement on the latest mishap at the South American OPEC member's refinery network.

Water, steam, air and electricity services had been restored, as well as distillation units, PDVSA said, but not yet conversion plants at the refinery on Venezuela's north coast.

Inventories were "above the strategic percentage", so there would be no impact on fuel provisions from Saturday's incident on the power network, it said.

The El Palito accident, which caused smoke to billow from the refinery on Saturday, was just the latest in a series of problems across the nation's oil production network.

Venezuela last year suffered its worst-ever oil industry disaster with a gas leak at the Amuay refinery that killed 42 people. (Writing by Andrew Cawthorne)

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