Venezuelan state-owned PDVSA has restarted the production of low-octane gasoline at its 305,000 barrels per day (B / D) Cardón refinery, according to internal operating data and officials from the oil union.
Cardon’s 86,000 b/d fluid catalytic cracker (FCC) was producing around 47,000 b/d of gasoline below 87 octane, according to an internal PDVSA report from June 14. A single distillation tower processed approximately 56,000 b/d of crude.
After mixing the recently imported alkylate from Iran, Cardon produces about 30,000 b/d of 91 octane gasoline, high-ranking union leader Ivan Freites told Argus.
Officials from the presidential palace and the oil ministry said the resumption of gasoline production is a significant step in PDVSA’s efforts to alleviate a serious fuel shortage and loosen stringent rationing measures.
Venezuela will continue to import gasoline this year, while PDVSA is focused on restarting the 108,000 b/d FCC at the 635,000 b/d Amuay refinery and the 61,500 b/d FCC at its 140,000 b/d refinery, added the officials.
The oil ministry said Cardon’s gasoline will be sent into the country to alleviate the fuel shortage, mainly in states with heavy agricultural production.