January 26, 2011 at 12:59 pm #2402
PdV shutting PetroAnzoategui upgrader in August
Caracas, 24 January, 2011 (Argus) Venezuela’s state-owned PdV (PDVSA) said today that its PetroAnzoategui extra-heavy crude upgrader, initially due for major work during the current quarter, will shut down for 40 days of programmed maintenance in August and September.
PdV did not explain the apparent postponement, but Energy Ministry officials say that PdV which generates 95pc of Venezuela’s hard currency earnings is being pressured to generate more revenues for the central government.
The ministry officials also said that the government’s demands on PdV has forced the state-owned oil company to postpone some of its capital spending (capex) plans, including programmed maintenance of its refineries and upgraders.
But postponing programmed maintenance at PetroAnzoategui is potentially risky for PdV.
PetroAnzoategui, which has a processing capacity of 130,000 b/d, was plagued last year by recurring equipment failures. The upgrader was out of service for more than a month during the fourth quarter of 2010.
FUTPV oil union officials familiar with PetroAnzoategui’s operating difficulties last year say that all of PdV’s upgraders and refineries have reported increases in equipment breakdowns since 2009 because of insufficient capex on maintenance.
PetroAnzoategui, formerly called PetroZuata when it was majority-owned by US oil major ConocoPhillips, was nationalized in May 2007 by President Hugo Chavez.
January 26, 2011 at 1:00 pm #5319
Bureaucrats and Financial types (&/or Upstream types as well) never seem to learn that Refineries have no control over downtimes – you either schedule it or it falls down and then cost twice as much and takes twice as long to fix than the shorter scheduled T/A would have. As article mentions PetroAnzoategui (former Petrozuata before COP’s JV Asset was stolen/nationalized) has been plauged by problems and equipment failures postponing is not only risky in refining industry it usually only works on paper.
February 1, 2011 at 12:21 pm #5299
PdV says it spent $2.3bn on refineries in 2010
Caracas, 31 January 2011 (Argus) Venezuelan state-owned oil company PdV made more than $2.3bn of capital expenditures (capex) at its refineries during 2010, refining director Jess Luongo said today.
The company last year spent $931mn on scheduled maintenance and $1.3bn on expansion projects, Luongo said. PdV’s refinery capex was 31.5pc higher than its $1.69bn of refining capex in 2009, he said. The modernization of PdV’s refining circuit is being fulfilled at the El Palito and Puerto La Cruz [refineries], which by 2014 will be capable of processing heavier crudes with an average 22 API, compared with 28 API today, he said.
But Luongo did not mention a succession of major accidents last year at PdV’s main refineries, including the 140,000 b/d El Palito, 200,000 b/d Puerto La Cruz, 300,000 b/d Cardon and 640,000 b/d Amuay facilities.
The El Palito refinery reported two explosions and fires that caused structural damage to some units, and the union complained in December that firefighting equipment and materials are deficient.
The Puerto La Cruz refinery last year suffered at least four accidents, including an explosion. And the Cardon and Amuay refineries, which form what PdV calls the Paraguana Refining Complex, suffered at least seven major accidents in 2010.
Last March, PdV shut down the 340,000 b/d-capacity Isla refinery on Curacao after a fire caused a power outage. Isla refinery was off line until December 2010 and currently operates at about 70pc of capacity because of continuing problems with some of the processing units, PdV officials said.
February 1, 2011 at 12:22 pm #5298
Perhaps PDVSA’s $2.3 Billion expansion capital would have been better spent on fire, safety & maintenance areas given large number of PDVSA major accidents in 2010?
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