PUNTO FIJO, Venezuela, Aug 31 (Reuters) - A gas treatment plant of PDVSA on the western coast of Venezuela was hit by an explosion on Monday evening though there were no injuries, the state oil company said.
The explosion was the result of a ruptured fuel system heater that is being tested, PDVSA said on Twitter. Flames were immediately controlled and causes as well as damage are being assessed, it said.
Workers at the plant, who asked not to be identified because they are not allowed to speak to the press, said at the time of the explosion the unit was near empty because shifts were being swapped.
PDVSA did not immediately respond to requests for further information. It was not immediately clear if the plant might have been damaged.
The plant, located in the Tiguadare sector of Punto Fijo, in the state of Falcon, processes gas extracted from the Cardon IV block, a field in the vast Perla reservoir, operated by Spanish-company Repsol and Italian company Eni . The Cardon IV block began operating in recent weeks.
Union leader Ivan Freites told Reuters there were no reports of casualties.
Perla is located 50 kilometers off the western coast of the Paraguana peninsula. It is the largest of Latin America’s largest offshore gas fields, with a volume of 17 trillion cubic feet, according to Eni. (Reporting by Mircely Guanipa in Punto Fijo and Eyanir Chinea in Caracas; Writing by Girish Gupta in Caracas; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)