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Brazilian state-run energy giant, Petroleo Brasileiro SA or Petrobras (PBR - Analyst Report) reported that it has stopped its petroleum coke production momentarily as its Duque de Caxias-based Reduc Refinery’s petroleum coke unit caught fire. Petrobras’ Reduc Refinery has a processing capacity of roughly 240,000 barrels of crude oil per day, reflecting about 10% of the overall refining capacity of Brazil.

The fire broke out at the coke plant on Saturday evening. The unit uses residual oil as input for producing naphtha and petroleum coke. The petroleum coke is further utilized as fuel in every power plant. Petrobras reveals that the fire has not caused any injuries and environmental damages. Moreover, it marks the fourth fire accident in the Reduc refinery since Nov, 2013.

Petrobras added that it has formed a special team to investigate the fire incident.

However, the labor union has raised questions regarding the safety measures implemented by Petrobras. The union pointed out that the company has increased its processing capacity significantly to 98% from 85% to fulfill the local demand without adopting additional safety procedures.

Headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, Petrobras is an integrated energy firm. The company’s activities include: the exploration, exploitation and production of oil from reservoir wells, shale and other rocks, and in the refining, processing, trade and transport of oil and oil products, natural gas and other fluid hydrocarbons, in addition to other energy-related activities.

Petrobras currently holds a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), implying that it is expected to perform in line with the broader U.S. equity market over the next one to three months.

Meanwhile, one can look at better-ranked players in the energy sector like Harvest Natural Resources Inc. (HNR - Snapshot Report), Tesco Corp. (TESO - Snapshot Report) and Athlon Energy Inc. (ATHL - Snapshot Report). All the stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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