Move should ease Venezuela’s reliance on U.S. refinery technology
Venezuela is getting help from Iran to overhaul its major Paraguana oil refinery complex through a joint effort by Venezuela’s state oil company, PDVSA and National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company (NIORDC).
The refinery complex is soon to begin a 100-day overhaul to reclaim its crude distillation capacity. Oilprice.com reports that Iran’s assistance with Venezuela’s Paraguana Refining Centre, the nation’s largest, should ease the South American oil producer’s reliance on U.S. refinery technology.
Over the past decade, Venezuela’s oil industry has crumbled due to mismanagement, corruption, and a lack of investment in maintenance and U.S. sanctions on its oil industry and exports. Venezuela sits atop the largest crude oil reserves in the world but has for years been unable to keep its crude oil and refining sectors operating normally.
Last year, NIORDC said it would help PDVSA get back up and running another refinery, the El Palito refinery, which has been down since the end of 2021. The Iranian company also agreed to expand the refinery.
In October, Iran said it had started crude oil refining at what it called the first refinery that Iran had built overseas. Last October, the Amuay refining unit producing 950,000 barrels per day (bpd) at the Paraguana refinery complex, stopped operations after a blackout and fire at the complex.
This isn’t the first time in recent history as it also went down again in December. A few short weeks later, Venezuela’s Cardon refinery, also part of the Paraguana refinery complex with a capacity of 310,000 bpd, went offline.
The facility, responsible for producing gasoline would be offline for 25 days, facility workers said last week. Venezuela’s refining woes have led to shortages in gasoline supplies in the country, triggering hours-long waits on the retail side.