Venezuela prepares to boost oil production with Iranian help

Photo: Oil Price

 

Venezuela is preparing to ramp up its crude oil production using diluents imported from Iran, Reuters reports, citing unnamed sources and company documents.

By Oil Price – Irina Slav

Sep 16, 2020

State-owned oil company PDVSA produced just 336,000 bpd of crude last month, company documents showed, down from almost triple that a year earlier, as U.S. sanctions and the long-term deterioration of the industry stifled it. U.S. sanctions also significantly reduced the number of parties willing to buy Venezuelan crude and ship owners willing to provide the transport for this crude.

Yet besides the most obvious effects of the sanctions, they have also cost Venezuela its diluent supply. Lack of diluents for the superheavy crude in the Orinoco Belt was one of the main contributing factors to the slump in production, as Venezuela used to import most of its diluents from the United States.

Now, Iran has stepped in to help with this as well, after sending professionals to Venezuela to help it repair its ailing refineries. Now, it is sending to Venezuelan the superlight crude grade known as condensate to blend it with the heavy crude and produce exportable grades of crude oil. According to TankerTrackers.com, the vessel that delivered the condensate was Iranian-flagged.

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