(OILPRICE) -- Venezuela is seeking more than 13 million barrels of fuel imports by the end of the year, which constitutes about a third of what the South American nation needs annually. The information is from tender documents seen by Bloomberg, and suggests deepening troubles for the country’s oil industry.
Refineries are operating at less than 50 percent of their installed capacity—which is 3.1 million bpd—due to insufficient supplies of crude oil and to insufficient maintenance, the latter according to BMI Research. The firm noted that refinery maintenance is being overlooked as the state oil company focuses its efforts on producing enough oil to repay debts accumulated over the last few years mainly to China and Russia amid the oil price crash.
In late May, Platts quoted Oil Minister Nelson Martinez as saying that it was business as usual for Venezuelan oil, despite technical reports suggesting that PDVSA had problems blending its diluted heavy crude from the Orinoco belt because of problems with its upgraders. Martinez then said that one of the four upgraders in the country would soon have higher capacity, at 100,000-120,000 bpd, from the current 80,000 bpd, but did not mention the state of the other three facilities.
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