Iran sends second cargo of refinery materials to Venezuela

February 13, 2021 - 15:56

TEHRAN - Iran has sent a second cargo of refinery materials to Venezuela to help the country resume operation at the 955,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) Paraguana Refining Complex (CRP) in western Venezuela, Reuters reported, quoting people familiar with the matter.

Iran had previously sent more than a dozen cargoes of catalysts to the country to help restart its 310,000 bpd Cardon refinery and alleviate acute gasoline shortages in the OPEC nation.

As reported, the first cargo of Iranian catalysts has arrived in Venezuela on February 11 by an Airbus plane belonging to Venezuelan state-run airline Conviasa.

According to the Reuters sources, more than a dozen further similar flights are expected to arrive in the country.

Currently, Cardon is the only one of Venezuela’s refineries producing gasoline, with its naphtha reformer and catalytic cracking units producing around 60,000 bpd, one of the people said. The nearby 645,000 bpd Amuay refinery is producing naphtha to serve as a feedstock for Cardon’s gasoline units.

The catalysts are expected to help restart gasoline production at Amuay, whose catalytic cracker has been offline since late 2019, in anticipation of planned maintenance at Cardon, the sources said.

As reported, the Islamic Republic has also shipped three vessels carrying fuel to the South American country.

The cooperation between the two OPEC members is significant since both nations are facing unjust U.S. sanctions.

Venezuela is suffering from an acute shortage of motor fuel due to the near-total collapse of its 1.3-million-barrels-per-day refining network after years of underinvestment and lack of maintenance, as well as the U.S. sanctions that have complicated crude-for-gasoline swaps.

The United States sanctioned state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela in January 2019, while the White House has also imposed heavy sanctions on the Iranian oil industry.

EF/MA

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