The Petrobras refinery in Pasadena, Texas. Image courtesy of Petrobras/Facebook.

One man was injured on Saturday when a fire broke out at a Petrobras operated refinery in Pasadena, Texas.

According to Reuters, an unidentified worker was burned when a blaze broke out around 10:15 a.m. CT on March 5 in the Diesel Hydrotreating (DHT) Unit of the Pasadena Refinery System Inc. (PRSI).

Petrobras told the news wire that a unit operator was taken to a nearby hospital after the accident and was released.

The fire was brought under control Saturday afternoon.

“The quality of the air around the refinery was monitored and no outside impacts were identified,” Petrobras said.

The Brazil-based company said that the navigation channel in the region of the PRSI was blocked as a preventive measure when the fire began, but was reopened a few hours later.

“The refinery continues to operate with the due operational authorizations and with an insurance coverage for the accident,” Petrobras said.

Sources told Reuters the accident caused “extensive damage” to the refinery’s light cycle oil hydrotreater, but did not impact other units at the refinery.

The 100,000 barrel per day Pasadena refinery has been linked to an ongoing corruption scandal tied to Petrobras contracts.

Last November, Brazilian prosecutor Carlos Fernando dos Santos Lima said authorities have evidence that the refinery’s original owner, Astra Oil, allegedly paid $15 million in bribes when Petrobras bought its initial 50 percent stake in the refinery.

Jailed former Petrobras executive Paulo Roberto Costa admitted last September to taking a $636,000 bribe in connection with the company’s purchase of the refinery.

Brazilian prosecutors have also alleged that Petrobras lost nearly $800 million on the purchase and over paid for its stakes in the refinery.

According to Thomson Retuers, Petrobras paid Astra Oil $360 million in 2006 for its initial 50 percent stake in the refinery, or more than eight times the amount Astra paid to purchase the entire refinery in 2005.

Astra Oil is a unit of Netherlands-based Astra Transcor Energy.


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