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Venezuela's PDVSA brings in Indian firm to help revive crude output, repair refineries

Caracas, Venezuela — Venezuelan state-owned PDVSA signed a five-year deal earlier this year with Indian company Flash Forge Private Limited (F-F) to help restore crude oil output and repair refineries in Venezuela, according to a document seen by S&P Global Platts.

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Under the deal, F-F is to provide "strategic materials, equipment, inputs and spare parts to increase production in the fields operated by PDVSA in the Orinoco Belt, East and West in Venezuela."

F-F also has responsibility for "the restoration of gas compression plants, water- and gas-injection plants, as well as extra-heavy crude treatment processes, well reconditioning and reconnection, steam generation and electric power generation processes," according to the document.

Venezuelan crude oil production has been falling steadily in recent years, a fall that has accelerated since late January as a result of US sanctions against the country.

Venezuela pumped 650,000 b/d in October, according to the latest S&P Global Platts survey of OPEC crude production. That is up from 600,000 b/d in September, as PDVSA appeared to have resolved some issues at the Jose terminal that were preventing loadings.

In refining, PDVSA aims to "recover the installed capacity of refineries through the supply of equipment, materials and technical assistance."

Venezuela's total installed refining capacity is 1.28 million b/d, but according to previous reports the country's two largest refineries have been operating at below 20% this year.

The 645,000 b/d Amuay refinery has not run at maximum capacity since August 2012, when an explosion killed 42 people and injured 80, while the 310,000 b/d Cardon has been shut most of the year for repairs amid a lack of crude to process.

Two other large refineries, the 140,000 b/d El Palito, operate inconsistently due to regular electric power failures and limited availability of light crude to process. The 187,000 b/d Puerto La Cruz refinery has been shut down all year due to a lack of spare parts to carry out repairs.

The deal was signed in April in the Venezuelan capital Caracas by Manuel Quevedo, president of PDVSA, and Gautam Makker, president of F-F Private Limited, according to document.

There is no information on the activities carried out by F-F Private Limited in Venezuela so far.

F-F is a private company created in July 1991 in Mumbai, India. Makker did not respond to requests for comments. No information about the partnership with PDVSA is available on's website and the press office did not respond to the request for comments.

PDVSA did not immediately respond to the request for comments.

-- Newsdesk-Venezuela,

-- Edited by Alisdair Bowles,