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PdV importing more refining catalyst from Iran

  • : Crude oil, Oil products
  • 21/02/19

Venezuela's state-owned PdV is importing more refinery catalyst from Iran in an ongoing effort to boost gasoline production at its 305,000 b/d Cardon refinery.

State-owned airline Conviasa is ferrying the strategic product on daily flights from Tehran to Josefa Camejo international airport on the Paraguana peninsula near PdV's 940,000 b/d CRP refining complex, which includes Cardon and the 635,000 b/d Amuay refinery.

A CRP manager tells Argus that Conviasa is scheduled to make at least 20 flights transporting catalyst and "two or three Iranian refinery technicians on each flight."

The first flight arrived on 11 February and as of 17 February at least seven flights had arrived, the manager added.

The catalyst, which is transported by truck to Cardon under heavy guard, is used to help PdV produce more and better quality fuel.

Oil ministry and PdV officials declined to say how much catalyst will be imported and what the government is paying Tehran for it, but a presidential palace official said Iran is recouping the cost in the form of Venezuelan gold.

Both Venezuela and Iran are subject to US sanctions that they blame for extensive domestic hardship.

Iranian state-owned carrier Mahan Air made around 20 flights transporting catalyst to the CRP in 2020. The switch to Conviasa has enabled Caracas to save on transport costs.

Iran supplied up to 1.2mn bl of gasoline and alkylate to Venezuela in mid-2020. Last month Iranian-flagged tankers Faxon and Fortune delivered over 400,000 bl of gasoline to PdV's Guaraguao terminal in eastern Venezuela.

PdV regularly imported catalyst from US and European suppliers until the US government imposed oil sanctions on PdV in late January 2019.

Cardon currently is producing about 40,000 b/d of gasoline and 20,000 b/d of high-sulfur diesel.

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