Venezuela's largest refinery complex has been hit by a power outage, at a time of acute fuel shortages in parts of the crisis-torn oil producer, an opposition lawmaker said on Sunday.
Luis Stefanelli, a deputy in the National Assembly revealed there was a general blackout at the Amuay and Cardon refinery complex Saturday night.
Access to both refineries has been closed and they have been taken over by the National Guard and officials of the SEBIN intelligence service, he said.
Some workers have been detained, Stefanelli added.
Despite some of the world's largest oil reserves, Venezuela has experienced growing fuel shortages as corruption, mismanagement and, more recently, US sanctions take their toll on the oil industry.
Power failures are common in Venezuela and have grown in frequency since March especially in the interior of the country, which has also seen long lines at gasoline stations.
State oil company PDVSA has made no comment on the situation, which Stefanelli said had left most of the Paraguana peninsula where the refineries are located without power.
Stefanelli said it was the third such incident at the refinery complex since 2015.
According to Stefanelli, production at the Paraguana refineries has fallen to about 80,000 barrels of gasoline a day.
At their peak they refined 950,000 barrels of crude a day, producing 280,000 barrels of gasoline and 220,000 barrels of gasoil for domestic consumption.
Now, he said, the government imports gasoline.
The refinery complex has been the scene of other incidents, including an explosion in August 2012 at the Amuay complex that killed 42 people, left five missing and injured nearly 80 others.
Oil production, source of 96% of Venezuela's income, has crumbled to its lowest levels in 30 years, from 3.2 million barrels a day a decade ago to less than one million today.
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