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.
The uncertainty comes at a bad time for the 18 countries in the euro zone, whose economy is already in the doldrums.
"Kalashnikov regrets that consumers are faced with such a problem," said spokeswoman Yekaterina Boni.
Cairo and Khartoum had earlier accepted a proposal by Addis Ababa to hold the talks in Sudan in the third week of August.
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The United Kalavrvta tanker, carrying some 1 million barrels of crude worth about $100 million, arrived off the coast of Texas on Saturday but has yet to unload its disputed cargo.
Over 200,000 NUMSA-affiliated metalworkers declared a nationwide strike on July 1 to demand a 15-percent pay raise for laborers and a ban on labor brokers
The council said in a statement that any trade in oil ISIL or Nusra Front, would violate United Nations sanctions as both groups have been blacklisted.
The project is being implemented in collaboration with the Ethiopian and Norwegian governments at a cost of over $2.8 million.
Kerry will be heading the U.S. team at the annual Strategic Dialogue with India on Thursday, and will be accompanied by U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker.
A total of $610.6 million has been allocated for the implementation of the Ethiopian part of the project, with the funds coming from the Ethiopian government, international financial institutions and donor organizations.
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Although the likely consumer is Europe, which would require pipelines to pass through Turkey, companies may decide instead to export gas from the Levant basin to Jordan, Egypt or the Asian continent.
The ambassadors did agree to add more people and entities to the EU's asset freeze list, using expanded criteria including Russian companies that help to undermine Ukraine's sovereignty
Washington has pressured companies and governments not to buy crude from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), but it has stopped short of banning U.S. firms from buying it outright.