PDVSA, Partners Produce 500,000 b/d Of Orinoco Crude

(S&P Global Platts, 17.Dec.2019) — Production levels by Venezuelan state-owned PDVSA and its international partners in the Orinoco Belt rose to 500,000 b/d, or 38.5% of its 1.3 million b/d maximum capacity, up from 435,000 b/d November 4, according to a technical report S&P Global Platts saw Tuesday.

Highlights:

— Output stands at 38.5% of maximum capacity

— Production rises from 435,000 b/d November 4

— Power failures, lack of diluents continue to affect capacity

Despite reactivation of some wells and the partial drainage of crude inventories, power failures and the low availability of diluents continue to affect crude pumping capacity, the technical report said.

The report give details about all businesses between PDVSA and its foreign partners in the four main blocks into which the Orinoco Belt is divided — Carabobo, Ayacucho, Junin, and Boyaca.

In these blocks, PDVSA has formed seven joint ventures — Petrodelta, Petrooritupano, Petrolera IndoVenezolana, Petrolera Sinovensa, Petrocedeno, Petropiar and Petromonagas. Eight other ventures are in development — Petroindependencia, Petrocarabobo, Petrojunin, Petromacareo, Petrourica, Petromiranda, Boyaca 8 and Junin 10.

According to the technical report, production is 272,000 b/d in the Carabobo block, 192,000 b/d in the Ayacucho block, 25,000 b/d in the Junin block and 11,000 b/d in the Boyaca block.

The average output November 4 was 226,000 b/d in the Carabobo block, 192,000 b/d in the Ayacucho block, 6,000 b/d in the Junin block and 11,000 b/d in the Boyaca block.

In the Carabobo block, joint venture Petrosinovensa (PDVSA 60% CNPC 40) is operating with 75,000 b/d, or 71.4%,of its 105,000 b/d capacity. The JV Petromonagas (PDVSA 60% Rosneft 40%) is operating with 80,000 b/d, or 66.7% of its 120,000 b/d capacity.

In Ayacucho block the JV Petropiar (PDVSA 60% Chevron 40%) is operating at 120,000 b/d, or 63.2% of its 190,000 b/d capacity.

At the Junin block, the 202,000 b/d Petrocedeno, with Total/Equinor, has been shut for six months. The 120,000 b/d Petro San Felix (100% PDVSA) at Junin block is out of service indefinitely.

PDVSA could not be reached immediately for comment and PDVSA’s foreign partners are not authorized to comment to the press.

In November, Venezuela, exempt from the OPEC+ deal as it navigates US sanctions, managed to boost its production to 700,000 b/d, according to the latest S&P Global Platts survey of OPEC crude production, up from 650,000 b/d in October, as PDVSA appeared to have resolved some issues at the Jose terminal that were preventing loadings.

The Orinoco Belt, the main oil production area in Venezuela, is a huge reserve of extra heavy crudes that are acidic and with high heavy metal content. It is estimated to contain 220 billion barrels of crude over 55,314 square kilometers in the southern states of Guarico, Anzoategui, and Monagas.

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