Fire extinguished at oil depot in Argentina

Buenos Aires, Mar 23 (EFE).- Firefighters brought the blaze that caused an explosion that injured 17 people at an oil depot in the western Argentine province of Mendoza under control on Sunday, state-controlled oil company YPF said in a statement.

The storage tank at the Cerro Divisadero complex exploded on Saturday.

The explosion was caused by a fire that started on Friday night at the oil depot located about 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) west of Buenos Aires.

"The company has started the maintenance work needed to resume operations at nearby facilities that were shut down as a precaution due to the danger that they might be affected," YPF said.

The Cerro Divisadero complex "holds the production from 10 fields in the Malargue area," which "accounts for 3.8 percent of YPF's production," the company said.

Workers are trying to limit the environmental impact of the accident and have erected barriers to keep crude from flowing into the Rio Grande, YPF said.

The tank that exploded contained 10,000 cubic meters of petroleum, the oil company said.

Argentina's government took control of YPF in May 2012, when Congress approved the expropriation of a 51 percent stake in the company from Spain's Repsol.

Repsol retains a 12 percent stake in YPF, Argentina's largest oil producer.

Argentina and Repsol recently reached an agreement on compensation for the expropriation, but the deal must still be approved by the Argentine Congress and the Spanish oil company's shareholders.