Investigation under way into Venezuelan gas processing plant fire

An investigation is under way into a fire that broke out on Aug. 31 at the onshore Cardon IV gas processing plant at Tiguadare in Venezuela’s northwestern state of Falcon.

The explosion and subsequent fire was caused by the rupture of a fuel gas heater at the plant’s production train system, which is currently in its testing phase, state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) said.

While PDVSA activated a contingency plan to ensure gas supplies to western Venezuelan markets following the outage, gas deliveries from the offshore Cardon IV license managed by a 50-50 joint venture of Eni SPA and Repsol SA—which links to the Cardon IV gas plant via a 30-in. pipeline—were due to resume within hours of the outage, the company said.

As a result of the incident, PDVSA said gas shipments to the domestic market were reduced by 150 MMcfd, which represents 6% of daily domestic production.

PDVSA continues to work with government security agencies in conducting on site investigations at the plant.

The Cardon IV gas plant is comprised of two treatment trains with capacities of 150 MMcfd and 300 MMcfd (OGJ Online, July 6, 2015).

The Eni-Repsol Cardon IV JV began production from the giant offshore Perla natural gas field in late June, with output from this first of three development phases slated to reach 450 MMscfd by yearend.

In a second phase, production will climb to 800 MMscfd in 2017, while a third phase will increase output to 1.2 bcfd in 2020, a rate the partners say is sustainable through the end of their contract in 2036.

Contact Robert Brelsford at

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