According to five persons acquainted with the situation, production at Venezuela’s biggest refinery, which can process around 645,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd), was suspended late Saturday by an electrical malfunction that created a blackout.
Following a suspension in partial operations at the adjoining Cardon refinery while a reformer problem is repaired, Amuay is the sole refinery producing gasoline at the Paraguana Refinery Center (CRP).
“Blackout in the Amuay refinery. An electrical problem. Total blackout. In Amuay, the distilling and catalytic plants might be affected, which is currently producing about 80% of the country’s gasoline,” one of the sources said, according to Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.
PDVSA, the state-owned oil firm, did not immediately reply to demands for comment.
According to one of the sources as Reuters stated, the problems stemmed from a power plant breakdown that feeds electricity to both refineries but mostly impacts Amuay. While power has been restored, the processing standstill has not been resolved, according to the source.
PDVSA will endeavor to restore power to Amuay on Sunday, according to two sources as Reuters mentioned.
The CRP is situated on Venezuela’s northwest coast and is operating at less than half of its capacity of 955,000 bpd.
Venezuela’s refinery network has a capacity of 1.3 million barrels per day.
People in adjacent areas that rely on CRP-generated energy flocked to social media to complain outages.
Venezuela is facing occasional gasoline shortages as a result of years of disinvestment and poor maintenance throughout the state refining network, as well as power breakdowns and fuel import restrictions as a result of US sanctions aimed at pressuring President Nicolas Maduro to resign.