November 17, 2018 / 10:18 AM / 25 days ago

Fire shuts unit at Moscow oil refinery: officials

Emergency services work near the site of a fire at the oil refinery, owned by Russian oil producer Gazprom Neft, in Moscow, Russia, November 17, 2018. REUTERS/Tatyana Makeyeva

MOSCOW (Reuters) - A fire broke out in an oil refinery in Moscow on Saturday morning, shutting down a unit that Thomson Reuters data said produced more than half the plant’s gasoline output.

Fire crews battled for more than three hours before extinguishing the blaze at the refinery in the capital’s Kapotnya district, the emergency ministry said.

The plant’s owner - Gazprom Neft, the oil arm of Russian gas giant Gazprom - said the refinery was back working as usual apart from a catalytic cracking unit which was offline.

The unit has a daily production capacity of 6,900 tonnes of gasoline that accounts more than a half of the gasoline produced by the plant, according Thomson Reuters data. There was no immediate comment from the company on the impact of the unit’s shutdown.

Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin said on Twitter the fire would not lead to any fuel shortages in the city.

The fire was out by 11 a.m. local time (0800 GMT), the ministry said, and there were no reports of any casualties or injuries at the plant.

The Russian government and oil companies have agreed to cut wholesale domestic fuel prices in October as a temporary measure aimed at stemming an increase in the cost of petrol and diesel, a politically sensitive issue for voters.

Reporting by Natalia Chumakova, Denis Pinchuk and Gleb Gorodyankin; writing by Maxim Rodionov and Denis Pinchuk; Editing by Gareth Jones and Andrew Heavens

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