Fire breaks out at Saudi gas plant, causes deaths

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RIYADH, Nov 18 (Reuters) Ten people were killed when a fire broke out in a gas pipeline near the Hawiyah gas plant in Saudi Arabia overnight, sources from Saudi Aramco said today.

The state oil and gas firm said in a statement the fire was caused by a gas leak in a pipeline around 30 km (18 miles) from the natural gas liquids plant but that the blaze was now under control.

The sources said the fire was unlikely to cause serious delays to the Hawiyah project, as it broke out some distance away in the Haradh-Othmaniya.

It was not immediately clear how many people were injured and the nationalities of the victims were unknown.

Aramco is undertaking projects to boost output at a natural gas liquids recovery plant in Hawiyah.

The project will provide petrochemical feedstock to the industrial cities of Jubail and Yanbu in the kingdom, the world's largest oil exporter.

The Hawiyah programme will produce 310,000 barrels of ethane and NGL products by 2008, through the Hawiyah plant and an expansion of the Juaymah gas fractionation plant near Ras Tanura.

Japan's JGC Corp was awarded the contract for the Hawiyah NGL and related facilities.

Italian Eni's Snamprogetti is carrying out work related to gas treatment and compression facilities. Contracts for communication and plant infrastructure facilities were signed with local contractors.


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