UPDATE 2-Small fire extinguished at Venezuela's Cardon refinery
(Updates throughout with PDVSA statement)
PARAGUANA, Venezuela Aug 14 (Reuters) - A small fire stopped one processing unit at Venezuela's 310,000-barrel-per-day (bpd) Cardon oil refinery before dawn on Wednesday, but workers extinguished the blaze in less than an hour, state oil company PDVSA said.
The fire started in the No. 3 Vacuum Unit at the facility, which is part of the giant Paraguana Refining Center (CRP) - the second-largest refinery complex in the world.
PDVSA said the unit, which is part of Cardon's catalytic complex, was stopped as a preventative measure and was being cleaned ahead of being restarted.
Two workers suffered light burns, the company said in a statement, but returned to work after medical treatment.
PDVSA has experienced serious problems at three of its refineries in recent days that have affected its fuel storage and production capacity.
Over the weekend, PDVSA suffered a huge fire at the 187,000-bpd Puerto La Cruz facility, which was caused by a lightning bolt that ignited fuel in a storage tank.
PDVSA said fuel production there was not affected, but work remains halted at a third refinery - the 146,000-bpd El Palito, which was stopped by a power cut on Sunday.
PDVSA has suffered repeated fires and unplanned stoppages across its refinery network in recent years.
In one of the global oil industry's worst accidents for decades, a gas leak caused an explosion and fire last year at the country's biggest refinery, the 645,000-bpd Amuay, which killed more than 40 people and wrecked hundreds of homes.
OPEC nation Venezuela became a net gasoline importer last year, largely because the Amuay disaster forced PDVSA to import fuels to meet domestic demand. (Additional reporting and writing by Daniel Wallis in Caracas; Editing by Maureen Bavdek)
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