New management at Venezuela’s PDVSA expects to boost oil output, refining

(Reuters) – Venezuelan state energy company PDVSA’s new management expects to boost the country’s oil production to 1.17 million barrels per day (bpd) by year end while increasing refining and exploration activities, an internal planning document showed.

Venezuela’s monthly crude output in April surpassed 800,000 bpd for the first time since December 2021 following a company shake up triggered by an anti-corruption probe that demanded an audit of all its operations, subsidiaries and joint ventures, uncovering some $21 billion in accounts receivable.

A U.S. license allowing Chevron Corp (CVX.N) to reanimate operations has also helped the nation’s crude output and exports recover since late last year.

PDVSA’s new chief executive, Pedro Tellechea, and a new board of directors this year have reviewed supply contracts and partnerships aiming to cash on pending debt, optimize operations and boost production.

According to a plan presented last week by Tellechea to workers, seen by Reuters on Monday, PDVSA expects to increase crude output by 390,000 bpd by year end, boost gas output by 645 million cubic feet per day (cfd) to 2.27 billion cfd, and ramp up refining by 20% so an extra volume of 90,000 bpd of fuel can be sold domestically.

PDVSA did not immediately reply to a request for comment on the plan, which also showed it aims to export about 1 million bpd of crude and fuel and 800,000 tonnes per month of petroleum coke by year end, above the average of 660,000 bpd of crude and fuel and 530,000 tonnes of petroleum coke it has exported so far this year.

One of the key projects to reach these goals is to restart the Petromonagas upgrader next month, which has been out of service since December after a fire, to convert about 80,000 bpd of extra heavy oil into exportable crude.

If it meets its goals, which in the past it has missed repeatedly, PDVSA would be able to pocket $4.2 billion in cashflow this year.

The company also has drafted a plan to drill three exploration wells in the country’s western region.

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