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Chevron will take operational control of a plant in Venezuela this week

Venezuela's regime Oil Minister Tareck El Aissami shakes hands with Chevron Venezuela President Javier La Rosa at a news conference on an agreement with Chevron, in Caracas, Venezuela, December 2, 2022. (REUTERS/Leonardo Fernandez Viloria)
Venezuela’s regime Oil Minister Tareck El Aissami shakes hands with Chevron Venezuela President Javier La Rosa at a news conference on an agreement with Chevron, in Caracas, Venezuela, December 2, 2022. (REUTERS/Leonardo Fernandez Viloria)

Chevron Corp. will formally assume operational control of a key oil processing facility in Venezuela this week during a joint visit to the site by representatives of the company and the regime, according to a person familiar with the plan.

The Venezuelan Minister of Petroleum, Tareck ElAissami, and the head of Chevron’s operations in the country, Xavier La Rosa, will visit the Petropiar upgrader at the José Petrochemical Complex near Barcelona in northeastern Venezuela on December 7, the person said. Chevron will assume operational control after the inspection, said the person, who asked to remain anonymous because the announcement has not been made officially.

Spokesmen for Chevron and the regime did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

Chevron will use the facility to process tar-like crude from fields in Venezuela that will be shipped to US refineries in the Gulf of Mexico under a sanctions waiver granted by the US Treasury Department last month. The first shipment of 1 million barrels is expected to take place later this month.

Under the license and a series of contracts that Chevron signed with the Venezuelan regime, the California-based driller will resume control of operations, financing and marketing in joint ventures with state oil company Petróleos de Venezuela SA. Chevron, the last major international company still operating in Venezuela, has the capacity to increase output from the joint ventures to about 200,000 barrels a day in a year, from a low of around 50,000 barrels.

Venezuela exported 619,300 barrels per day (bpd) of crude and fuels in November, amid the resumption of shipments to Europe and the restart of oil processing plants, which lifted sales 16% from October, according to documents and Refinitiv data. eikon.

FILE PHOTO: A boat with workers in an oil field in the western lake of Maracaibo, in Venezuela (REUTERS / Isaac Urrutia)
FILE PHOTO: A boat with workers in an oil field in the western lake of Maracaibo, in Venezuela (REUTERS / Isaac Urrutia)

Exports from the OPEC member country have averaged about 620,000 bpd so far this year, slightly below 2021, but are expected to rise in the coming months after the delivery of a US license to Chevron Corp as part of a strategy to relax sanctions against Venezuela.

the italian Enianother partner of state-owned PDVSA, received two shipments of crude in November as debt repayment for a total of 1.85 million barrels of diluted Venezuelan crude bound for Spain, where it will be refined by Repsol.

Exports also benefited from restart of one of the crude upgraders of the Orinoco Belt, that of the Petropiar project of PDVSA and Chevron. The neighboring Petrolera Sinovensa project, operated by PDVSA and China’s CNPC, also resumed crude blending operations. Both had suffered from malfunctions and lack of diluents to operate.

A total of 24 shipments that transported crude oil and refined products and 224,000 metric tons of methanol and pet coke left Venezuelan waters last month, according to PDVSA’s internal export data and schedules.

The November figures were up 16% from the previous month’s exports, but they were almost 3% lower than the same month last year and were also below August’s record of 813,000 bpd.

Most November Shipments they headed to china after passing through ship-to-ship transfer hubs, notably Malaysia. PDVSA also shipped around 38,000 bpd of crude, fuel oil and blends for gasoline to Cubadown from 52,000 bpd in October.

A Iranian-owned supertanker that had arrived in Venezuela with imports and a ship operated by a third party set sail in November carrying cargoes of Venezuelan heavy crude and fuel oil for Iran’s state-owned firm Naftiran Intertrade Co (NICO), the documents showed.

Another Iranian-flagged tanker in Venezuela, the Huge, is also expected to sail back with fuel oil for NICO this month as part of an oil swap with PDVSA, according to the documents.

(With information from Bloomberg and Reuters)

Keep reading:

The United States authorized Chevron to resume its operations in Venezuela
The US made the decision to expand Chevron’s operations in Venezuela subject to what happens in the dialogue in Mexico
Biden warned the Maduro regime that Venezuela has to do “a lot” for the US to relax sanctions

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