A tanker was loading diesel fuel at one of the refinery’s five docks when it exploded, Chavez said. PDVSA, as the company is known, closed the dock to ships while keeping the others operating, Chavez said.
The Cardon refinery, located in northwestern Venezuela, is part of the state company’s Paraguana complex and can process as much as 130,000 barrels a day. Cardon had fires at its catalytic cracker unit on March 29 and April 24, according to PDVSA.
Venezuela is South America’s largest oil producer and a founding member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
PDVSA will open an investigation to determine the cause of the explosion and calculate the damage, Chavez said. There were no workers injured, he said.