Curacao state-owned oil RdK consolidating oil assets, selling inventory
Curacao state-owned refineria do Korsou (RdK),
By Patricia Garip /Argus
Petroleumworld 07 27 2021
Curacao is consolidating its state-owned energy assets and selling inventory amid uncertainty over restarting its oil refinery.
State-owned RdK, the owner of the 335,000 b/d Isla refinery, is closing its money-losing refinery utilities subsidiary CRU as of 30 September. At the same time, RdK is starting to sell 865,000 bl of locally stored Venezuelan crude, products and blendstock that it acquired from CRU at an 11 June auction.
"RdK is in the process of preparing batches of several products," the company told Argus , adding that some are ready for sale and are under negotiation.
The refinery and associated Bullen Bay terminal were operated by Venezuela's state-owned PdV under a long-term lease that expired at the end of 2019. Since then, Curacao's various attempts to find a new operator have sputtered. An agreement with the latest suitor, the Corc consortium led by Dutch contractor Dick and Doof, continues to elude the island. RdK signed preliminary contracts with Corc in May, shifting final negotiations to the government.
In announcing its imminent closure, CRU said Corc has not yet met the conditions for a transfer of the assets. RdK says if no agreement with Corc is met by the end of September, it will maintain its custody of the reorganized assets as it continues its search for a strategic partner.
Dutch-controlled Curacao is among several Caribbean islands struggling to monetize idle or underutilized refining assets, many of which had been operated by PdV before decades of mismanagement, a loss of production capacity, unpaid debts and, more recently, US sanctions caused the Venezuelan company to withdraw.
An indefinite shutdown of the recently restarted 200,000 b/d Limetree Bay refinery on St Croix in the US Virgin Islands is the latest sign of distress in a region where another key source of government revenue — tourism — has crumbled because of the Covid-19 pandemic.