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Downstream news update: USA, Canada and South America

Hydrocarbon Engineering,


A runaway train carrying crude oil has derailed in Quebec. The confirmed death toll is three, and expected to rise further.

Fires have prevented rescuers from reaching part of the 73 car train. Multiple blasts came over a span of several hours. Approximately 30 buildings were destroyed. 1000 people were evacuated from their homes.

Firefighters from across the border in the US are now helping to tackle the blaze.

Some of the train’s cargo has spilled into the nearby Chaudiere river, according to Environment Quebec spokesman, Christian Blanchette. Communities downstream of Lac-Megantic have been warned to take care if using river water.

South America


China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) has agreed to help finance the construction of a US$ 12  billion refinery project in Ecuador.

The country has been in talks with China’s biggest oil producer for a year in regards to funding for the 300 000 bpd Pacifico project, which aims to start output in 2017 and is a joint venture between Ecuador and Venezualan state oil company PDVSA.


A power outage has temporarily parlysed services at the Isla refinery, operated by state owned Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), in Curacao.

The outage affected the entire island, including the plant that provides industrial services like water, electricity and steam to the refinery.



The Phillips 66 Santa Maria refinery has experienced a pump seal failure in its tail gas unit. However, this has now been repaired and the refinery has returned to normal operations.

Edited from various sources by Emma McAleavey.

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