The unit for catalytic cracking of the Amuay refinery, the largest in Venezuela, stopped production because of the low stocks of one of its key components, two executives from PDVSA, a trade union leader and two employees told Saturday to Reuters.
The Amuay plant, the key in the production of petrol, was left without the VGO input (vacuum gas oil), which limits the production of spent fuels.
"The catalytic cracking plant at the Amuay refinery is being shut down due to the low stocks of food products for processing – fantastic start to petrol prices," said trade union leader Iván Freites to Reuters.
Another source at the state-owned oil company Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) said the vacuum gas oil charge was reduced to the Fluidized Catalytic Cracking Unit to divert the product to the petrol production unit of the El Palito refinery, which employs some 146,000 barrels of oil per year. day (bpd).
"They lost track of what they had in tanks and since there are also problems in distillation plants, such as plant 2 and plant 4, they have been taken out of operation, the plant can not work," said another operator, who asked for not to be identified.
Amuay's delayed coking plant did not work on Monday either after it was restarted last Tuesday after six months of shutdown, an employee said.
PDVSA did not respond immediately to a request for information on the status of the units.
Together with its neighbor Cardón, Amuay integrates the Paraguaná Refining Center (CRP), one of the largest in the world with the capacity to process 955,000 bpd.
The Venezuelan oil refining and improvement circuit works intermittently due to disruptions, incidents and lack of supplies, at a time when the Venezuelan petroleum company is trying to increase its production.
Venezuela is a major producer of crude oil, but pumping has declined in recent years. Recently, the government signed agreements with seven private companies to support pumping in a plan that extends to 14 oil fields.