Marianna Parraga and Mircely Guanipa, Reuters
EnergiesNet.com 10 03 2023
Venezuela’s oil exports in September topped 800,000 barrels per day (bpd), the second highest monthly average this year, as state-run oil firm PDVSA and its joint ventures recovered output, particularly in the Orinoco Belt.
Venezuela has been increasing overall crude production and exports this year, but with volatile swings from month to month amid recurring power outages, maintenance problems and a lack of investment to expand output.
In September, PDVSA and its partners shipped an average 812,000 bpd of crude and fuel mainly to China, directly and through trans-shipments hubs.
Chevron’s (CVX.N) exports of Venezuelan oil to the U.S. last month slipped to some 145,000 bpd, from 147,000 bpd in August, according to PDVSA’s documents and LSEG tanker tracking data.
Chevron last November obtained a U.S. license to expand its four joint venture operations, which has allowed it to consistently increase output this year. The U.S. producer next year hopes to expand its ventures’ combined output to 200,000 bpd through a fresh drilling campaign.
September’s export gains mainly were fueled by higher production and processing of extra heavy crude in the country’s main oil region, the Orinoco Belt, where outages had interrupted crude blending in August, the documents showed.
However, the higher exports reduced PDVSA inventories of its flagship export crude grade – Merey 16 – at the end of the month, according to one of the documents, which could limit exports in coming months.
The OPEC country reported crude output of 820,000 bpd in August, above the 810,000 bpd it produced in July, for an accumulated average of some 785,000 bpd so far this year.
Venezuela increased exports to its top political ally, Cuba, to some 86,000 bpd pf crude, fuel oil, gas oil and gasoline, from 65,000 bpd in August. Cuba has suffered from fuel shortages and last week announced the possibility of blackouts amid low fuel inventories to run its power plants.
The South American nation also discharged imports of Iranian crude and U.S. heavy naphtha between late August and September, key for refining and crude blending operations at the Orinoco.
Reporting by Marianna Parraga in Houston and Mircely Guanipa in Maracay, Venezuela Editing by Marguerita Choy
reuters.com 10 02 2023