The Petromonagas oil upgrader, run by the Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA and Russia's Rosneft, was discontinued due to a maintenance plan that would take at least another two weeks, sources told Reuters on Monday. The other three breeders in the Orinoco belt work normally, added the sources, although they operated intermittently earlier this year due to the lack of imported spare parts and thinners. The four Venezuela breeders can convert up to 700,000 barrels per day (bpd) extra heavy oil into exportable raw varieties.
Petromonagas has a capacity of 150,000 bpd. When the breeders are in maintenance, PDVSA increases the import of heavy naphtha to dilute the production of the belt.
The maintenance of Petromonagas would start in the second quarter, but delays in importing spare parts forced operators to postpone it several times.
The project finally started in early October, according to the sources.
PDVSA did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
Meanwhile, the closure of one of the docks of the largest oil port in Venezuela, Jose, contributed to the decline in crude oil exports, which averaged 1.105 million bpd in September, according to data from Refinitiv Eikon.