Another oil export problem for Venezuela’s PDVSA

Venezuelan state-run oil company PDVSA was organizing a contingency plan over the weekend to address its latest oil-export problem, reports Reuters.

A tanker collision that damaged the country’s main crude terminal at Jose port’s South dock, forced its closure, and has exacerbated delays in loading crude for export, especially to customers such as Russia’s Rosneft and U.S.-based Valero Energy Corp and Chevron Corp, two sources told the news agency.

Jose’s South dock was refurbished in 2016 to increase its export capacity. It was later designated as PDVSA’s main hub for naphtha imports. Along with two other berths and two single monobuoy systems, Jose handles three-quarters of Venezuela’s crude exports.

Oil tankers that were assigned to load diluted and upgraded crudes at Jose’s South dock would be diverted to neighbouring Puerto la Cruz terminal under the proposed plan. Vessels would be limited to up to 500,000 barrels each.

Earlier this year PDVSA asked some customers to bring larger tankers to cut a backlog around Jose port. Most vessels currently waiting were expected to load over 1m barrels of heavy crude each.

PDVSA said on August 31st that work to replace the damaged fender at Jose’s South dock had started, but did not say how long the contingency plan would be in place.

PDVSA also is considering diverting tankers carrying imported naphtha to Puerto la Cruz.