Venezuela bumps up January oil production by 100,000 b/d to surpass half-million b/d mark

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Average crude output by Venezuela’s state-owned PDVSA and its foreign partners in January rose to 520,000 b/d, or 100,000 b/d more than December, according to daily production reports reviewed by S&P Global Platts.

Also, the preliminary average of Venezuelan crude oil production in January stood higher than PDVSA’s planned volume for the month, which was 461,000 b/d according to previous reports.

According to the reports, average production of PDVSA and partners in the Orinoco Belt rose to 290,000 b/d or 70,000 b/d more than reported volume in December, due to a plan to accelerate the repair of wells shut down due to electrical and mechanical failures.

No information was available on the number of wells that were repaired in January. The well maintenance plan will be extended until the end of February.

Located in south-east Venezuela, the Orinoco Belt contains some of the world’s largest reserves, mainly of extra heavy viscosity.

The production reports gave details about the joint ventures involving PDVSA and foreign partners in the four principal blocks in which the Orinoco Belt is divided: Carabobo, Ayacucho, Junin and Boyaca. In these blocks, PDVSA has formed seven joint ventures and has nine additional ventures in development.

According to the reports, average crude output during January in the Carabobo block was 160,000 b/d, in Ayacucho block 101,000 b/d, in Junin block 21,000 b/d and in Boyaca block 8,000 b/d.

In the Orinoco Belt, the Petropiar joint venture (PDVSA 70%, Chevron 30%), Petrolera Sinovensa (PDVSA 60%, CNPC 40%) and Petromonagas (PDVSA 60%, Russia 40%) maintained operations but below maximum capacity. Petropiar operated at an average 51,000 b/d, or 27% of its maximum capacity of 190,000 b/d. Sinovensa at 50,000 b/d, or 48% of its capacity of 105,000 b/d and Petromonagas at 59,000 b/d, or 49% of its capacity of 120,000 b/d.

Production in Morichal and San Tome, fields that are 100% owned and operated by PDVSA in the Orinoco Belt, was 70,000 b/d in the aggregate. Average production in other joint ventures of PDVSA and foreign partners fluctuated between 1,000 -3,000 b/d, according to reports.

In oil fields in Monagas state in eastern Venezuela, production rose to an average 150,000 b/d from 140,000 b/d in December.

The output average western Zulia state remains at 30,000 b/d. In the Andean state of Trujillo, oil production reactivated to reach an average of 50,000 b/d in January, according to reports.

In the western state of Zulia, the Petroboscan field where a joint venture between PDVSA (60%) and U.S. Chevron (40%) operates, has been shut in. In Petroboscan there are currently 405 shut-in wells, which would have a potential to produce 80,000 b/d of Boscan heavy crude.

The monthly averages do not include production volumes of condensates.

The daily PDVSA production reports contain preliminary and unofficial information that can record changes once the data is consolidated.

In 2019, average daily crude output in Venezuela was 1.01 million b/d, according to data submitted by the Venezuelan government to OPEC, the global oil cartel of which Venezuela is a member.

Spokespersons at PDVSA did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the production figures, and the foreign partners in Venezuela are not authorized to comment to the press.

Source: S&P Global Platts

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