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PDVSA shuts its last two operating refineries in Venezuela: Amuay, Cardon

Highlights

Amuay shut Monday, Cardon down for repairs

Puerto La Cruz, El Palito refineries already offline

Caracas, Venezuela — PDVSA has shut down its last two operating refineries in Venezuela, closing its Amuay and Cardon facilities at the Paraguana Refining Center (CRP), the largest refining complex in the country, according to a technical report seen Monday by S&P Global Platts.

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Due to multiple failures and a lack of crude to process, the 645,000 b/d Amuay refinery was completely shut down Monday, with its five distillers out of service, and the 310,000 b/d Cardon refinery was shut Saturday for maintenance work on the Number 1 distiller, which had been operating at 50,000 b/d.

A refinery operator at Amuay, who spoke to Platts on condition of anonymity, said it will take "maybe two or three more days" to restart Amuay and "a few weeks" for Cardon to be up and running because of the distiller repairs.

Amuay's 108,000 b/d catalytic cracking unit has been shut since December, the plant's 72,000 b/d flexicoker has been shut since March 2016, and the 34,000 b/d delayed coking unit remains shut for repairs.

Amuay has not run at maximum capacity since August 2012, when an explosion killed 42 people and injured 80.

The 16,000 b/d Bajo Grande asphalt plant, also part of the CRP, was already shut.

PDVSA operates two other refineries, the 187,000 b/d Puerto La Cruz and the 140,000 b/d El Palito, which were already shut down due to deterioration of units, lack of light crude to process and failures in the supply of electricity.