PDVSA (Petróleos de Venezuela) has shut down its last two operating refineries in Venezuela due to “multiple failures and lack of crude to process,” according to a technical report assessed by S&P Global Platts on Monday.
According to the firm, the Venezuelan state-owned oil company proceeded to shut down the Amuay and Cardón facilities; part of the Paraguaná Refining Center (CRP) in the state of Falcon, in the country’s northwestern region.
* Amuay shut Monday, Cardon down for repairs
* Puerto La Cruz, El Palito refineries already offline
— Platts Oil (@PlattsOil) 27 de enero de 2020
The CRP is the country’s largest refining complex and the second most important worldwide. It has the capacity to refine around 955,000 oil barrels per day.
PDVSA closes its refineries
S&P Global Platts stated that “the Amuay refinery, 645,000 barrels per day, was closed on Monday with its five distillers out of service.”
Meanwhile, the 310,000 bpd Cardon refinery was shut down on Saturday due to “maintenance works to its number 1 distiller,” which had been operating at 50,000 bpd. This information was confirmed by the region’s Gente del Petróleo.
Former oil worker Jose Toro Hardy took to Twitter to comment: “PDVSA is shutting down its last two operating refineries, Amuay and Cardon, part of the Paraguaná Refining Center, the nation’s largest refining complex.”
Pdvsa detiene sus dos últimas refinerías operativas, Amuay y Cardón, del Centro de Refinación Paraguana, el mayor complejo de refinación del país
— Jose Toro Hardy (@josetorohardy) 28 de enero de 2020
Similarly, the information was also echoed by oil specialist Francisco Moraldi on Monday.
Details on other shutdowns
An operator at the Amuay refinery who spoke with Platts under condition of anonymity said it will take “two to three more days” to resume operations at Amuay.
In the meantime, it will take “just a few weeks” to do so at Cardon following the maintenance works.
PDVSA shuts its last two operating refineries in Venezuela: Amuay, Cardon https://t.co/pCx2DMg0BS
— Francisco J. Monaldi (@fmonaldi) 28 de enero de 2020
Its catalytic cracking unit (which processes 108,000 barrels per day) has also been closed since December. Also, the plant’s 72,000 barrel flexicocker is closed since March 2016 and the 34,000 barrel delayed cocking unit has been closed for repairs.
To date, PDVSA has not made a statement regarding the shutdown of these two refining centers.
Local media has been reporing on issues regarding petrol scarcity due to the close of PDVSA’s refining facilities; especially outside of the capital and in border regions.
The government of Nicolas Maduro is in talks with Russian oil company Rosneft; Italy’s ENI, and Spanish Repsol to implement a new partnership scheme that would provide these companies a majority shares in the state-owned oil industry.
The operation, currently under discussion, would be contingent upon news investments and PDVSA’s debt restructuring, currently in default.
According to Bloomberg, “the proposal, which could offer financial relief for the oil industry, is in its initial stages and faces great obstacles.”
It also touched on that govern the Venezuelan hydrocarbon sector, as they would have to be changed.
Moreover, it spoke about disagreements regarding how to finance the operations and how the U.S. sanctions ban U.S. companies from doing business with the Maduro regime without a license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).
For more information, check Energía16