Venezuelan oil port repairs delayed, crude exports fall

Repairs to a dock at Venezuela’s main oil export port will take at least another month to complete following a tanker collision more than a month ago, reported Reuters.

An incident late in August caused state-run oil company PDVSA to shut the Jose port’s South dock, one of three used to ship heavy and upgraded oil to customers and to receive diluents needed for the exports.

Jose port typically handles about 70% of Venezuela’s total crude exports, which in September declined 14% month on month to 1.105m bpd.

PDVSA had estimated that the berth would reopen by the end of September, but necessary parts had not been obtained because PDVSA continued to face problems paying foreign providers, a result of the financial sanctions imposed by the US. PDVSA’s crews completed the removal of the damaged fences last week, but replacements have not arrived in the country.

Meanwhile, despite a reported deal in August between PDVSA and Conoco, it appeared that the former was yet to resume shipments from most of its Caribbean terminals, which remain frozen after US producer ConocoPhillips took legal action to recover a $2bn arbitration award. However, the Venezuelan oil firm has yet to complete a $500 million instalment due by the end of November to unlock its Caribbean operations.