By KEJAL VYAS
GUIRIA -- Petroleos de Venezuela (PdVSA) sees its
participation in the Abreu e Lima joint refinery venture in Brazil as "very
expensive" but hasn't yet made a final decision whether to stay
in the project, Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez
We are revising the costs in the refinery and its very, very
expensive, Mr. Ramirez told reporters. "That's part of the
discussions," with Petrobras, the minister said.
The Venezuelan company failed to meet a number of deadlines
over the last couple years for it to provide the loan
guarantees and financing for its share of the 230,000 bpd crude
oil refinery. For its part, Petrobras has said that it plans to
go through with the refinery with or without PdVSA.
The investment cost for PdVSA is around $20 billion, Mr.
Ramirez explained, comparing it to a 100,000 bpd refinery being constructed in
Venezuela in conjunction with a Korean consortium that "doesn't
exceed $2 billion."
When asked about the status of the Brazilian project, Mr. Ramirez said that he
and the Petrobras chief remain in direct discussions and that
they decided not to make further comments to the media until a
decision has been made.
At the same time, Mr. Ramirez said PdVSA is on the lookout
for buyers for some of its North American refineries which
currently do not process Venezuelan crude.
"That network of refineries has been problematic in the way
it had been acquired and how it is geographically situated. It
receives little Venezuelan crude which is why we are selling
refineries that don't process our oil. It doesn't interest me
to become a buyer of United States nor Canadian oil, Mr.
Dow Jones Newswires