Venezuela in E&P overdrive as output hits new low

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Venezuela's oil ministry and PDVSA announced that over 60 proposals to recover productivity were tabled at a workgroup focused on hydrocarbons E&P, following a call by President Nicolás Maduro to advance the transformation of the NOC and increase production by 1Mb/d.

"The central theme in our discussion was the new management model and the participation of workers in all the processes," said Nelson Ferrer, E&P vice president at PDVSA. Additional information on the proposals was not disclosed.

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Days earlier, Maduro said: "I am fully condident that together with the oil workers we will achieve a huge victory and leave behind a history of ignominy, betrayal and corruption."

Other workgroups addressed refining; gas, trade and supply; and logistics. Participants included the PDVSA board, workers and representatives of pro-Bolivarian revolution group Gran Polo Patriótico.

According to the latest data from OPEC secondary sources, oil production in Venezuela in May averaged 1.39Mb/d, a new low for the South American nation. The country's output based on "direct communication" last month was 1.53Mb/d.


In a related note, Antigua and Barbuda paper The Daily Observer, citing a document from Venezuela's oil ministry, reported that the Caribbean nation is among the countries that will be impacted by PDVSA's decision to suspend petroleum deliveries to about half of Petrocaribe members amid falling production and lower refinery utilization in Venezuela.

Read BNamericas Intelligence Series report What Now for Venezuela and its Oil Sector?

Meanwhile, PDVSA said that the number 3 high vacuum plant (AV3) at the Cardón refinery was put back into service following repair and maintenance that began in January.

"With the startup of the AV3 we advance in the substitution of imports because we can produce 690,000b of VGO [vacuum gas oil] a month which translates into one less import ship of the component in that period," a separate PDVSA release quoted Cardón processes manager Marcel Amundaraín as saying.

AV3 represents the processing of 23,000b/d of VGO which feeds the FCC unit, and saves US$55.5mn/month, added PDVSA.

PDVSA also reported that through residential natural gas subsidiary Gas Comunal, 34 containers arrived in the first days of June with a total of 50,456 10kg cylinders to bolster and fulfill the government's LPG supply plan, and under a strategic partnership with China. So far this year, 513,758 such cylinders have arrived from the Asian country, according to the NOC.