Gasoline production has resumed at Venezuela’s state oil firm PDVSA gasoline at the only operating refinery in the country home to the world’s largest oil reserves that are experiencing severe gasoline shortages.
Last week, PDVSA’s refinery Cardon, capable of processing 310,000 barrels per day, was hit by a fire and people with knowledge of the operations told Reuters on July 6 that gasoline production was halted because the fire had affected the catalytic cracking unit.
According to Reuters’ sources, “The refinery has since resumed production of gasoline, and the Cardon facility is currently producing around 30,000 bpd of gasoline.
Venezuela’s 1.3-million-bpd refining capacity is mostly offline, due to the cash crunch at PDVSA and Venezuela, the crumbling industry, and years of lack of investment in maintenance and repairs.
The lockdown to curb the coronavirus pandemic in the country which is in a severe economic collapse has reduced some of the demand for gasoline, but shortages persist.
Venezuela has seen some reprieve recently in its fuel shortage problem after Iranian tankers shipped gasoline and refining components to the Latin American country in open defiance of the U.S. sanctions.
Venezuelans continue to queue for gasoline in the middle of July despite the shipments from Iran, while the U.S. is looking for ways to cut off Iranian gasoline deliveries to Venezuela, according to the OilPrice.