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Oliver L Campbell : Investment in
the Abreu y Lima refinery is a mistake

 

A news item from Reuters dated July 13 and entitled " PDVSA balks at high costs of Petrobras Pernambuco Refinery" states the original cost was estimated at $4.5 billion. In fact, as quoted in my article of 11.09.10, it started at $2.0 billion --then increased to $4.5 billion, subsequently shot up to $12.0 billion and has now further increased to $14,4 billion. This must make it the world's most expensive refinery in terms of rated refinery capacity--230,000 barrels per day.

As I explained previously, it makes no commercial sense for PDVSA to invest in a refinery in Brazil. The money would be much better spent constructing refineries in Venezuela with deep conversion capacity to process the extra-heavy crudes from the Orinoco Oil Belt. The best thing PDVSA can do is to tell Petrobras a cost of $14.4 billion is exorbitant and that it will not invest in the project. The Brazilian Mines and Energy Minister has stated their government could build the refinery on its own if need be. Fine, let them go ahead and do just that.


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Oliver L Campbell , MBA, DipM, FCCA, ACMA, MCIM was born in El Callao in 1931 where his father worked in the gold mining industry. He spent the WWII years in England, returning to Venezuela in 1953 to work with Shell de Venezuela (CSV), later as Finance Coordinator at Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA). In 1982 he returned to the UK with his family and retired early in 2002. Petroleumworld does not necessarily share these views.

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Petroleumworld News 07/15/2011

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