On the Heels of Major San Juan Explosion PR Oil Co. Files for Bankruptcy

By: Timothy McFarlin | Published: September 14th, 2010 | Category: Bankruptcy

Recently, in a court in Delaware, but, a good 10 months after a gigantic explosion rocked its Puerto Rican fuel storage depot, Caribbean Petroleum Corporation has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.  Since the explosion, all operations have basically come to a stand-still (even their website is “under construction,” as of writing this article).

The Caribbean Petroleum Corp. is an oil company which owns and manages an oil refinery in Bayamon and features a capacity of 48,000 barrels—per day.  The company accepted having to sell its assets in going through bankruptcy, working closely with senior secured lender, Banco Popular de Puerto Rico.  In its Chapter 11 filing, assets were listed in the $100-$500 million range, with liabilities ranging from $500 million to $1 billion.

An ill-functioning fuel monitoring system has been suspected as the explosion’s main culprit.  Apparently, operations have been terminated due to the efforts made to clean up and repair in wake of the explosion and its damage done to the company’s property.

While there were no causalities reported from the explosion, hundreds were evacuated and the blast itself demolished numerous homes and businesses alike, over a mile away from the company’s facilities.  Eleven storage tanks were destroyed.

The refinery in Baymon was erected in 1955 to help supply the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority Palo Seco and San Juan Power Plants.  Caribbean Petroleum Corporation was established in 1987 in a merger between Caribbean Gulf Refining Corporation, Gulf Petroleum S.A. and Compania Petrolera Chevron, Inc.

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