PDVSA's Amuay Refinery Partially Resumes Operations after Complete Shutdown in Mid-January

Reuters, February 5, 2018

Venezuela’s Amuay refinery partially resumed operations during the week, although some units are still not working, a union leader and a worker said on Saturday. The 645,000 barrel-per-day facility was completely halted in mid-January when the distillation units and the catalytic cracker ceased to operate.

Amuay is already producing 230,000 bpd,” said Ivan Freites, a union representative for workers of state oil company PDVSA .

PDVSA, which manages the installation, did not immediately respond to a request for information. Another Amuay worker confirmed that some units were already running on Saturday, but at midday there was a fire at a hydrogen plant that was not yet in service and the incident was controlled without casualties. Freites said that the fire left “considerable material damage.”

Lack of investment, theft and poor management are behind Venezuela’s lowest output in decades. Undergoing a dire economic crisis, Venezuela relies on oil for some 95 percent of export revenue. Amuay, along with its neighbor Cardon, are part of the largest refining center in the country and can process some 955,000 bpd at full capacity. However, they have been working at less than a third of capacity since the end of 2017.

(Reporting by Mircely Guanipa; Writing by Corina Pons and Girish Gupta; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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