Firefighters managed to extinguish one of three burning storage tanks at Venezuela's biggest refinery on Tuesday, President Hugo Chavezsaid, in line with the authorities' target to restart the facility by the end of the week.
Chavez broke the news in a series of pre-dawn Tweets, saying the fire at one tank at the Amuay refinery had been put out, while the intensity of the blaze in one of the other two had fallen by 75 percent.
"We continue battling with our heroic firefighters from (state oil company) PDVSA," he said, adding that he was talking by telephone with Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez at the scene.
"With God's help, we will succeed!"
Ramirez told Reuters in an exclusive interview on Monday that the 645,000 barrel-per-day facility could restart operations on Friday, and that the three burning tanks would be extinguished within two days.
An explosion on Saturday at Amuay killed 48 people and pushed up U.S. fuel prices in markets that were already bullish because of a threat that Tropical Storm Isaac could disrupt refinery operations on the U.S. Gulf Coast.
Ramirez said Venezuela currently had no plans to import fuel, and that the rise in U.S. gasoline prices would not last.
Nobel Ilac will use the loan to expand production and improve quality of medicines
The company said the deal would make Total the second-largest operator in the North Sea, with substantial operations in Britain, Norway and Denmark.
Volatility eased as traders focused on the world economy and corporate earnings after a week dominated by the dramatic spike in tensions over North Korea, which triggered a global sell-off before prices bounced back Monday.
Investors greeted the more conciliatory tone after US stocks dropped three days in a row last week on President Donald Trump's vow of "fire and fury" if North Korea continued to pursue its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.
The ultra-conservative kingdom has moved to diversify its traditionally oil-dependent economy following a sharp fall in crude prices.
In its monthly report on the global oil market, the International Energy Agency said, however, that it believes the supply glut is easing, partly because demand is growing faster.
US stocks have been in retreat since President Donald Trump Tuesday issued a fiery warning to North Korea to halt its nuclear program.
The move by one of Japan's best-known firms greatly reduces the chance of an embarrassing delisting from the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE).
London's benchmark FTSE 100 index weakened by 0.5 percent to 7,503.39 points.
The approval by the European Commission comes just over two months after the European Central Bank -- which took on the role of the eurozone's banking supervisor in 2014 -- allowed the sale to go ahead for a symbolic fee of one euro.
BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Shell and Total have all published results in recent days, showing they pocketed $23 billion in net profit in the first half fo the year.
Higher cereal, sugar and dairy prices pushed food price index by 10.2 percent annually in July