Last update: 13-Dec-2013 3:20 am
Friday, December 13, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Internal PDVSA document: Venezuelan refineries operating at 74 per cent
HOUSTON—Venezuela’s network of refineries, including the Isla unit, is operating at 74 per cent of capacity, running 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude, according to an internal report from state-run PDVSA seen by Reuters on Friday. Fires, small explosions and power cuts have hit the 1.62 million bpd chain of Venezuelan refineries since July. These latest woes have further affected output, which was already suffering from a major explosion at the Amuay refinery last year.
The internal report seen by Reuters is significant because Venezuela, one of the world’s major oil producers, generally does not disclose production and refinery data beyond annual reports.
The problems have forced PDVSA to look for imported petroleum products—a growing trend that is affecting the country’s balance of payments months after President Nicolas Maduro took office. Maduro, a vocal critic of the United States, succeeded his mentor, Hugo Chavez, who died in March. Maduro has faced a number of economic problems since his election in April, including annualized inflation of 43 percent and shortages of consumer goods.
One trader close to PDVSA’s purchases told Reuters this week that the company, which owns a chain of four domestic refineries and rents the 335,000 bpd Isla in Curacao, will import several cargoes of diesel and catalytic gasoline in the coming weeks to supply its internal market. “The alkylation unit number 1 and TAME (tertiary amyl methyl ether, used to oxygenate gasoline) are down due to operational problems in Cardon. The vacuum unit number three shutdown continues due to the fire that occurred on August 13,” the report says, updated on August 23. (Reuters)
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