Venezuelan oil output averaged 712,000 b/d in December, down slightly from November as US oil producer Chevron begins to revitalize operations following eased US sanctions.
Carlos Camacho, Argus
EnergiesNet.com 01 17 2023
The Orinoco oil belt produced 447,000 b/d of extra heavy crude, according to analysts with Gas Energy, while the nearby Oriente division produced 170,000 b/d of medium to heavy crude. Occidente, including the Zulia fields, produced 95,000 b/d on average. Occidente production reached as high as 110,000 b/d on some day as Chevron’s Petroboscan project came back on line on 21 December after a six month hiatus triggered by insufficient storage.
Hopes that an increase in crude export cargoes will help lift production with the recent resumption of some Chevron operations may be tempered by ongoing infrastructure issues, including a lack of power in many fields.
Another concern is the ability of tankers to navigate in the Lake Maracaibo channel, which has not been dredged since 2015. So far only smaller vessels have been able to arrive to load oil at the Bajo Grande port on the lake, according to sources, which is creating problems for crude storage and even production.
The Venezuelan Oil Chamber, a collection of companies involved in the country’s oil and gas business, will meet Tuesday to address dredging the channel and adding beacons to help with navigation.
argusmedia.com 01 09 2023