Venezuela's PDVSA restarting Jose terminal ops as blackout eases
PUERTO LA CRUZ, Venezuela
Petroleumworld 03 13 2019
Venezuela's state-owned PDVSA (PdV) is restarting oil loading and processing operations at its main Jose terminal as the worst of a nationwide blackout looks to be over.
The Suezmax Vilamoura is currently loading at the west dock on behalf of state-owned PetroChina, to be followed by Maran Regulus — a Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) — for India's Reliance, according to internal PdV data obtained by Argus .
At the east dock, another PetroChina-booked Suezmax, the Fontana , completed loading and will be followed by a VLCC, the Maran Carina , for Reliance, which is picking up 16°API Merey crude.
At the south dock, the New Paros is unloading a cargo of Venezuela light Santa Barbara grade loaded from the western Amuay terminal for delivery to Sinovensa, PdV's heavy crude blending joint venture with China's state-owned CNPC.
The restart of oil loadings is beginning to clear a backlog of dozens of tankers at Jose, some preceding the blackout and related to US oil sanctions that effectively cut off PdV´s main US market.
The strategic Jose complex hosts Sinovensa and PdV's three operating heavy crude upgraders: PetroMonagas with Russia's state-controlled Roneft, PetroPiar with US major Chevron and PetroCedeño with European firms Total and Equinor. All of the facilities are in the process of restarting since they were forced offline by the power failure. PdV´s wholly owned Petro San Felix upgrader has been down since last year.
"We have to see if the upgraders restart without any problems," a PdV official told Argus , alluding to possible damage caused by the outage that swept across Venezuela on 7 March.
Jose receives crude from the Orinoco heavy oil belt, where nearly all production of 700,000-800,000 b/d was shut in because of the blackout.
Most of Venezuela now has power restored , but supply is erratic and water service is still down for many residents.
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