Venezuela's second-largest refinery disrupted by outage

Venezuela's second largest refinery has suspended gasoline production following an internal electrical failure, four sources with knowledge of the situation said.

Work was being carried out on Sunday to resume operations of the Cardon crude oil reformer and distiller, one of the sources said.

A blackout took place on Saturday afternoon at the facility, which has the capacity to process 310,000 bpd of crude, and although power has returned to the facility, production at the refinery remains halted.

"They have already fixed the fault, the light has returned, but everything is still stopped. The start-up process or protocol have begun, but you know that when they stop abruptly, it takes time (to resume operations)," one source told Reuters.

The Cardon refinery is part of the 955,000-bpd Paraguana Refining Center on Venezuela's Western coast.

Venezuela's state company PDVSA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

An intermittent scarcity of fuel has hit the South American country in recent years as PDVSA's aging refineries operate at a fraction of its 1.3 MMbpd joint capacity and as U.S. sanctions block the arrival of imported gasoline.

(Reporting by Mircely Guanipa in Maracay and Deisy Buitrago in Caracas, Writing by Isabel Woodford; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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