Argentina storm sparks fire at YPF La Plata refinery


BUENOS AIRES -- Argentina's largest oil and gas company, state-run YPF, said Wednesday that it has contained a major fire at the country's largest oil refinery.

YPF said it suspended operations at its La Plata refinery after a fire broke out Tuesday night in a coking oven.

"Within the coming hours, YPF will put in place a special operating plan to restart operations at its industrial complex," YPF said in a statement.

It wasn't immediately clear if the fire has been completely extinguished.

YPF said the fire started after flooding caused by a major rain storm cut electricity to the entire refinery. The same storm caused power outages, flooding and at least half a dozen deaths in the capital, Buenos Aires, and nearby cities.

YPF said its personnel and firefighters from two nearby cities managed to bring the blaze under control at about 3 a.m. EDT. The company said there were no casualties.

Lost production at La Plata refinery is hardly welcome news for Argentina, which is already a major fuel importer.

Argentina's government ramped up production at YPF's refineries after President Cristina Kirchner last year seized a 51% stake in the company from its former controlling shareholder, Spain's Repsol.

Dow Jones Newswires

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