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Libya's Marsa el-Brega refinery complex hit by explosion after gas leak

Libya's Marsa el-Brega refinery and oil export terminal was rocked by anexplosion and fire in the early hours of Saturday following a gas leak at itsmethanol plant, state-owned National Oil Corp. said Sunday.

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Firefighters put out the blaze, but the extent of damage or impact onproduction was not immediately clear, NOC said in a statement.

Marsa al-Brega in Libya's so-called eastern oil crescent is operated bySirte Oil Co., an NOC subsidiary. The refinery can process around 10,000b/d of crude, while the terminal can handle three vessels of up to 300,000dwt.

The complex also hosts two fertilizer plants, which can produce 700,000mt/year of ammonia and 900,000 mt/year of urea, that belong to Lifeco, a jointventure by NOC, the Libya Investment Authority and Yara International.

There have been a few incidents at Libyan refineries in the recent past.In October last year, a fire broke out at the key 120,000 b/d Zawiya refinery.There was minimal disruption to operations, however, as the affected turbinewas already shut for maintenance.

In January last year, operations at the refinery were reduced followingan electrical fault, which damaged one of the pipelines from the treatmentunits.

-- Adal Mirza, adal.mirza@spglobal.com

-- Edited by E Shailaja Nair, shailaja.nair@spglobal.com