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Venezuelan Oil Upgraders Back after Power Outages

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    Venezuela Oil Upgraders Back Online After Power Outage – PdVSA

    DOW JONES NEWSWIRES Aug 11, 2011

    CARACAS -(Dow Jones)- Venezuela’s four major oil upgraders have returned to normal operations after a power failure in a transmission line halted the facilities two days ago, state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela, or PdVSA, said Wednesday.

    The facilities Petropiar, Petromonagas, Petrocedeno and Petroanzoategui, which combined produce around 620,000 barrels, a day had been undergoing restarting procedures since Monday night. The upgraders, which process heavy crude oil into a usable commodity, are joint-ventures with foreign oil companies, except for Petroanzoategui, which is fully controlled by PdVSA.
    Operations were also restored to another processing plant run by Sinovensa, Venezuela’s joint project with China National Petroleum Corporation, and a shipping terminal, PdVSA said in a statement, citing comments from upgrader division director Luis Marquez.

    The company said that heavy oil production had not been affected. As part of major plans to ramp up production in coming years, the country is greatly relying on its heavy oil upgraders in the Orinoco oil belt, one of the world’s largest and mostly untapped reserves.

    President Hugo Chavez has said he is aiming to raise production from just under 3 million barrels a day currently to 4 million barrels over the next three years.
    The heavy oil upgraders went offline in the early afternoon Monday after a failure in a 400-kilowatt transmission line between Yaracuy and El Tablazo.

    Throughout this year, Venezuela has been hit by frequent power shortages and failures around the country, which government critics have attributed to a lack of maintenance and investment into the state-run grid. Electricity problems partly paralyzed operations at Paraguana, the country’s largest refinery complex, for nearly two weeks in May.
    -Kejal Vyas, Dow Jones Newswires; 58-414-249-6821; kejal.vyas@dowjones.com

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