By KEJAL VYAS
CARACAS -- State energy monopoly Petroleos de Venezuela, or
PdVSA, expects to bring its Amuay oil refinery back to
production levels seen before the recent explosion by December,
the company confirmed Friday.
Amuay, the country's largest refinery, has been running at around
half of its total capacity of 645,000 bpd of oil since
An Aug. 25 gas-leak explosion at the refinery killed more than 40 people
and put a spotlight on PdVSA's management over the industry,
which has been plagued by frequent accidents and mishaps that
weighed on oil output in recent years.
PdVSA has on multiple occasions missed targets for resuming
normal operations at Amuay. Reuters reported earlier
that the company is waiting for replacements for parts that
were damaged in the blast, which, once installed, will restore
Amuay to pre-explosion processing levels.
Amuay was churning out 450,000 bpd before the accident,
below what PdVSA officials have called "an optimal level" for
the refinery, which should be processing between 460,000 and
480,000 bpd, Jesus Luongo, a PdVSA director, said in early
In addition to Amuay, smaller accidents have recently hit
the adjacent Cardon refinery as well as the El Palito refinery.
Venezuelan authorities insist that domestic fuel demand is
being satisfied internally, but data from the US Energy
Information Administration, ship brokers and oil traders say
that the resources-rich country has had to turn to
US government data show Venezuela imported 34,000 bpd of
finished motor gasoline in August from the US, up from
6,000 bpd in May and the most since Venezuela received
36,000 bpd in February 2003, amid an oil industry
Dow Jones Newswires