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Diana guila Chvez
Edwin Zurita Garca

The Amuay refiner is a petroleum refining facility, it is located on the West coast of the peninsula of
Paraguan in the municipality Los tanques at the State of Falcn in Venezuela. It currently belongs to
the State energy company Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA). This oil refinery was located among the
top five largest in the world.

In the year 1945 the Group Creole Petroleum Corporation started construction projects whose works
started in 1947 finally being inaugurated on January 3, 1950 the Amuay refinery with an initial capacity
of 60,000 barrels per day of crude oil processing. At the end of 1974 its refining capacity became
670,000 barrels per day. On January 1, 1976, the complex happens to be managed by the new operator
Lagoven, a subsidiary of PDVSA.

In 1997 was the merger of Amuay Cardon and big bass, giving way to what is now the center of
Paraguana refining, comprising 71% of the country refining capacity at the time of its creation. For
2011 the refinery has the following units of process:

Atmospheric distillation, 5
distillation vacuum, 5
Hidrotratadoras, 4
catalytic cracking, 1
with HF alkylation, 1
isomerization butanes, 1
fluid coking, 1
delayed coking, 1
complex of lubricants, 1
hydrogen reformers,
treatment 3 of kerosene, 1
sulphur recovery, 3

Explosion on the year 2012

Also known as the tragedy of Amuay, at 12:35 a. m. is received the first alert about the leak of propane
in a tank of 15 meters in diameter in block 23 storage of CRP Amuay, prompting firefighters in PDVSA
to act immediately cordoning the area by closing the avenues.

At exactly 1:07 a. m. produced the explosion of accumulated gas by the leak that caused a shock wave
of great magnitude, bringing as a consequence several damages to surrounding structures and the No.
44 detachment of the National Guard. In addition, shock waves caused panic in the nearby town, so
residents evacuated the area on their own.

The Minister of petroleum and mining in the country of those times, Rafael Ramrez, said that the
cause of the explosions was the formation of a cloud of gas after a leak.

During the course of the event it became known that nine tanks of block 23 of storage area were
stricken strong flames that were installed in tanks 200, 203 and 204, passivated latter being on 28
August in the morning, once consumed entirely the contents of the tank. According to the fire, Las
Piedras airport suspended all flights and when they doused the fire they resumed their activities.

At about 9 in the morning of August 25, the authorities said that the fire was controlled and that the
wounded were assisted in the hospital calles de Punto Fijo and Maracaibo Coromoto hospital. The
community of Punto Fijo provided spaces for health services.

To August 26 the death toll rose to 41 and wounded 86. For August 27 the death toll rose to 55 and
the wounded to 156 with over 290 affected homes. Tuesday August 28 after four days, the flames
were extinguished in their entirety. The afternoon of September 4 one of the tanks returned to ignite
in flames, which was controlled by firefighters quickly.
The public Ministry initiated an immediate investigation, appointing a team of experts from the
Criminalistics Unit of that ministry. The national prosecutor Jimi Goite coordinated the investigations
and ordered to carry out the investigations directed to determine the causes of the fact.

The President of Venezuela of those times, Hugo Chvez, decreed three days of national mourning for
all those killed in this incident and Sunday August 26 was presented in the administrative building of
the Amuay refinery.

Vice President of PDVSA and Deputy Minister of mines and petroleum for that year, Eulogio del Pino,
said in an interview with the State television station VTV that does not rule out sabotage as a cause of
the explosion thesis.

Caracas Diego Gonzlez, President of COENER denies the charges made by Rafael Ramrez (Energy
Minister) and Nicolas Maduro (current President of Venezuela) who insist that the explosion was
caused by the opposition to subtract votes late President Hugo Chvez elections in October 2012.
"This right has no scruples to harm the homeland", "desperate sectors, who believed that a refinery
on fire they earned him election Chavez;" and not only was that they won them, but that they were
coleteados by the people,"said Maduro.

Ramirez, for his part, supported version of the maximum leader of the chavismo. "We have been able
to detect and detected in the latest events, direct sabotage, our technicians of some of the events
that have occurred in Amuay have been detected, and is already proven, that there was fault or
anything, but a direct sabotage on our facilities", said the official in a television program, that would
have been orchestrated by the opposition and United States for electoral purposes.
However, the experts came to very different conclusions, since the report prepared by a Commission
of the Center in orientation on energy (COENER) outlines a chain of failures and breaches in the rules
of prevention and security within the refinery.

According to the report, the explosion was caused by the ignition of a gas cloud created by an
uncontrolled escape of olefins, flammable components produced in the refining process. The leak
probably produced by the collapse of a mechanical seal that generated dangerous cloud of gas which
accumulated in the area due to the lack of wind.

Operatives consequences after the fire

Two days were promised by Rafael Ramrez, Minister of petroleum and mining and President of
Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), to restart the refinery operations, after the explosion and
subsequent fire that forced his arrest, however, resumed the March finally in 10 months. The
distillation unit failed to regain their usual until June 2013 pace, starting to walk to 76 per cent of its
After a year of the accident, Amuay processing 494 thousand barrels of oil per day (bpd), 150 thousand
bpd below its capacity, which is located at 644 thousand bpd.

An operational report of the Paraguana refining Center, obtained by Reuters, indicates that the
refinery has 10 of its 51 plants out of service yet, mainly due to lack of spare parts needed to carry out
operations and lack of provision of basic inputs.
In the area affected by the outbreak still there are boilers, tanks of crude oil and derivatives and
detained spheres of gas, according to the internal report prepared by the own PDVSA.
A report of the COENER warns: "records of accidents occurring in the 25 of August 2012 after PDVSA,
demonstrate that the company did not take effective measures to reduce the risks in its operations"

Money Losted
The estimated cost of the damage caused by the explosion that occurred last year at the Amuay
refinery is a thousand 835 million dollars, according to a report by the Centre on energy (COENER).

Concepto Prdida
PDVSA assets $173,8 millones
Stocktaking losses $170,9 millones
Production losses $1.200,0 millones
Control and fire extinction $10,3 millones
third ones damages $234,7 millones
Victims indemnification $35,2 millones
Environmental damages $10,0 millones

Environmental Consequences because of explosion in Amuay

There are many factors involved, as the type of blown element, the direction and speed of the time,
the types of gases emitted, among other factors. The most visible environmental impact of the
explosion is the amount of rubble that the infrastructure affected by the shock wave, though
vegetation is also destroyed in the impact area are reduced.

VITALIS, an organization non government (NGO) environmentalist, was one of the first organizations
to enact before what happened, in one of its documents entitled: VITALIS to what happened at the
Amuay refinery, among the aspects referred to in the document include:

in this process, once to stop the fire, should be a thorough environmental audit, which we recommend
be developed by independent experts to complement the investigations of the State oil company, to
document scientific and technically all damages, and estimate the measures that should be
implemented to mitigate them, as well as to reverse the negative environmental impacts, in order to
avoid undesirable effects on human communities, the flora and the fauna, the physical environment,
and the essential ecological processes and associated evolutionary phenomena.

We must be careful in the deposition of emitted particles, because apart from lead to breathing
problems and heart disease in people, alters the chemical and nutrients in soils and surface water
cycles. There is also to be attentive to the dissemination of aromatic hydrocarbons poly cyclic (PAH),
both in the soil and bodies of water, since these can cause genetic, biochemical or physiological
changes in various species, which can compromise their survival and biological effectiveness in
exposed areas.

Emissions of toxic gases and debris scattered friendly, detached from combustion, are two great
sources of environmental pollution caused by the accident happened at the Amuay refinery. Propane,
non-combustion, gas will eventually degrade. The real problem are the products caused by complete
and incomplete combustion that become the greenhouse gas.
According to the ecologist and environmental Advisor Gustavo Montes, the effects would be not in
the immediate and long term, but will have their contribution. Although the explosion generated
particles that are seen as soot, there are others not, but who are also into the atmosphere.

What is most troubling in this case is that some products from the refinery could reach the sea by the
proximity of this refinery with the coast. The positive is that the wind direction the smoke will go
towards the sea and not to populated areas, although similarly it would be affecting the environment.

When the fire reaches hydrocarbon products increases the intensity of the smoke and even increases
toxicity, so it most advisable in maintaining populations away from refineries.
Fire is an exothermic chemical reaction with high speed of reaction in which materials or elements
react chemically together, forming new products. The mass is conserved in a chemical reaction, and
this principle can also be applied in a fire.

The materials that make up the fuel are not destroyed, just become different. If we compare the
weight and the volume of these products before and after combustion should weigh and occupy the
same volume. This principle is known as the law of conservation of matter and was drafted by Antoine
By the chemical reaction of burning produces smoke, gases, flames and heat. Each of these products
resulting from combustion has a different effect, both on the chemical reaction of combustion and
the environment and, therefore, on human body.

Smoke consists of solid and liquid particles in suspension. The sizes of these particles range between
the 0.005 and the 0.01 Millimicrons. Smoke contact with mucous membranes of the body causes the
irritation. If it comes into contact with the eyes can cause tearing, making it difficult to view.
If given the right conditions, the smoke can get to be flammable or cause an explosion. The smoke is
one of the most dangerous factors of fire.

Ardila, E. (8 de Septiembre de 2013). Obtenido de Recuperado 8
Julio 2017.

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danos--a-personas-e.aspx. Recuperado 8 Julio 2017.

Delgado, A. (30 de Agosto de 2013). El Nuevo Herald. Obtenido de
es/article2025409.html. Recuperado 8 Julio 2017.

El Mundo. (25 de Agosto de 2012). Obtenido de La Nacion:

explosion-en-una-refineria-en-venezuela-19-muertos. Recuperado 8 Julio 2017.

Fonseca, J. (9 de Septiembre de 2012). Fundacion vida verde. Obtenido de Recuperado 8 Julio 2017.

Garca, D. (25 de Agosto de 2013). La Tragedia de Amuay puede repetirse. La Verdad, pg. Economa.
Recuperado 8 Julio 2017.

Complejo Refinador de Amuay: