MOSCOW (MRC) -- Venezuela's state-run oil company PDVSA has restarted crude blending at its Sinovensa and Petropiar plants after a gas supply outage to the Jose oil export terminal halted operations, according to a document seen by Reuters.
The resumption comes as a very large crude carrier (VLCC) set sail after delays loading at Jose and a second VLCC prepared to leave, partly alleviating a bottleneck of vessels that had built up due to the gas outage, low inventories and quality issues, the internal PDVSA document showed.
Both supertankers are carrying crude cargoes bound for Asia and a third vessel of the same size is set to depart by the end of the month to cover a similar route.
As of May 23, Petrolera Sinovensa's blending plants, operated by a joint venture between PDVSA and China National Petroleum Corp for converting extra-heavy crude from Venezuela's Orinoco oil belt into exportable Merey crude, were processing 139,000 barrels per day, the document showed.
PDVSA did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Petropiar crude upgrader, a facility near Jose that is part of a joint venture between PDVSA and Chevron Corp and which also halted output last week due to the gas outage, also restarted on Monday, according to a separate document seen by Reuters and a person familiar with the matter.
The temporary gas outage at Jose resulted from a fire at PDVSA's Amana Operating Center (COA) in eastern Monagas state that authorities blamed on lightning.
As per MRC, Venezuelan state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela has restarted gasoline production at the FCC unit of its 310,000 bpd Cardon refinery. The unit was producing between 15,000 and 20,000 bpd of gasoline, according to union leader Ivan Freites, who said the unit started back up on Wednesday evening. PDVSA earlier in the week began producing at least 25,000 bpd of gasoline at Cardon’s reformer unit.
Ethylene and propylene are the main feedstocks for the production of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), respectively.
According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 744,130 tonnes in the first four month of 2021, up by 4% year on year. Shipments of all PE grades increased. At the same time, PP deliveries to the Russian market were 523,900 tonnes in January-April 2021, up by 55% year on year. Supply of homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers increased, whereas shipments of PP random copolymers decreased.