Source Pravda.Ru

Venezuela: oil pipeline fire quickly put out, oil minister says

A rupture in an oil pipeline caused a fire in western Venezuela on Saturday night, but firefighters quickly brought the blaze under control, the country's oil minister said. There were no injuries.

Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez told state television the fire would not affect fuel supplies. He said authorities were investigating the cause as they evaluated damage to begin making repairs.

"Residents in the area heard two large explosions," regional fire chief Henry Uzcategui said, explaining they were at a distance because the fire broke out in a forested area.

Firefighters extinguished the blaze in about two hours, Uzcategui said.

The pipe was about 60 centimeters (2 feet) in diameter, he said. The pipeline is made up of two pipes, one of which was undamaged, and carries crude from Ule in the western state of Zulia to the Amuay refinery, Uzcategui said.

The two pipes together can carry up to 150,000 barrels of crude a day, according to the state oil firm Petroleos de Venezuela S.A.

Venezuela is the world's fifth largest oil exporter and a major supplier of fuel to the United States, reported AP. P.T.