Venezuela’s state-run oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela, has resumed gas output at Cardon refinery in the midst of widespread fuel shortages, according to Reuters.
This will come as a welcome relief after months of fuel shortages following strict American sanctions on fuel imports.
At present, Cardon’s reformer is running at 25,000 barrels of oil equivalent (boe/d) capacity, and all gas produced will be sold to the domestic market. Supplies of naphtha are being processed to create the gas; the reformer had been halted for several months due to a lack of naphtha supply.
Petroleos de Venezuela is still working to restart Cardon’s fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) unit, which is also crucial for gasoline production. This unit has been halted since July.
The only other plant producing gasoline in Venezuela’s PDVSA’s 146,000 bbl/d El Palito refinery, which is only producing 20,000 bbl/d of gasoline.
This is a far cry from the country’s previous potential of 1.3 million barrels per day (mmbbl/d) refining network. However, after years of mismanagement and underinvestment in infrastructure, there has been a steep decline in Venezuelan production.