Venezuela Dec oil flow off 151,000 b/d: officials
Caracas, 8 January (Argus) — Venezuela lost an estimated 151,000 b/d of crude production in December, accelerating a collapse across all of state-owned PdV´s operating divisions, according to unofficial preliminary figures obtained from three PdV upstream executives.
Venezuela reported output declines of 130,000 b/d in November and 118,000 b/d in October 2017.
Over the course of last year, the Opec country shed a combined 687,000 b/d of production to average about 1.686mn b/d as of 31 December 2017, compared with official output of 2.373mn b/d at the end of 2016.
Over 399,000 b/d or 58pc of the decline in 2017 occurred in the fourth quarter as PdV´s core operations were roiled by the combined impact of US financial sanctions and a widespread crackdown on corruption that resulted in the arrest of senior industry officials, including former energy minister Eulogio Del Pino and former PdV chief executive Nelson Martinez.
PdV regional upstream executives cautioned that final official crude output numbers for 2017 likely would be reviewed and revised by the company's board of directors and energy ministry as the production numbers for all divisions, oil fields and joint ventures are aggregated for official publication later in 2018.
The preliminary figures obtained by Argus show that crude output in PdV's western division declined in 2017 to about 391,000 b/d at the end of the year, a drop of 194,000 b/d from end-2016 production of 585,000 b/d.
Including the preliminary end-2017 data, PdV's western division has recorded a cumulative output decline of 408,000 b/d from 799,000 b/d at end-2012, ahead of president Nicolas Maduro´s election in April 2013.
PdV's eastern division produced a preliminary 415,000 b/d at the end of last year, a decline of 237,000 b/d compared with the 652,000 b/d of crude produced at the end of 2016.
Taking into account the December preliminary data, crude output in PdV's eastern division has dropped by some 617,000 b/d during Maduro's five-year presidency from 1.032mn b/d at end-2012.
According to the preliminary figures, PdV's Orinoco extra-heavy crude division, including joint ventures with foreign oil companies, produced a combined 882,000 b/d at the end of 2017 for a decline of 314,000 b/d compared with 1.196mn b/d the division produced a year earlier.
PdV's Orinoco division crude output in 2017 was down 383,000 b/d from 2015's peak Orinoco production of 1.265mn b/d and 292,000 b/d below reported Orinoco output of 1.174mn b/d at end-2012.