November 1, 2010 / 5:30 PM / in 7 years

UPDATE 1-Total evacuates Antwerp refinery after gas leak

(Adds detail on maintenance, capacity in last 2 paragraphs)

LONDON, Nov 1 (Reuters) - Total (TOTF.PA) said on Monday it had evacuated its Antwerp refinery in Belgium following a gas leak earlier in the day.

Gas leaked from one of two naphtha crackers, and the unit had been shut for maintenance work since the end of September, said Jean Godts, the Antwerp plant’s health, safety and environment manager.

“The leak happened today, when there was maintenance we were working on in advance ... 1,300 people evacuated from the plant,” he said.

The maintenance work is expected to be completed in the second half of November.

Total’s Antwerp refinery has a total production capacity of 360,000 barrels per day, according to the company’s website.

Reporting by Zaida Espana, writing by Ikuko Kurahone, editing by Jane Baird

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