Five Deadliest Onshore Oil & Gas Blasts - Part 4

Tim Haïdar

The Amuay Refinery Explosion at the Paraguanâ Refinery Complex


August 25, 2012

Location: Judibana, Falcôn State, Venezuela

Casualties: 41 fatalities, 80 injured at time of writing

Estimated cost: Unclear at time of writing

Details: The Amuay refinery is the largest of three constituent parts - the other two being the Bajo Grande Refinery and Cardôn Refinery – that make up the Paraguanâ Refinery Complex , the world's second largest refining facility.

At 1:15am Caracâs time, an explosion of unknown provenance ripped through refinery, affecting nine of the 680 storage tanks at the facility. Speculation has grown that cause of the blast may have been due to slipshod maintenance, despite $4.8 billion having been spent on shutdowns and turnarounds at Amuay over the past five years. 19 workers have died and 67 have been serious injured at the facility since 2003.

The Paraguanâ Refinery Complex accounts for 71% of the Venezuela's total refining capacity, and it is unclear just how the unfolding disaster will affect domestic and international oil supply and pricing.