Reuters: Venezuela’s oil exports reached their second highest peak of 2023

In a notable rebound, the Venezuelan oil exports During the month of September they exceeded the figure of 800 thousand barrels per day (bpd), marking the second highest monthly average of the entire year. This achievement is due, in large part, to the recovery efforts of the state oil company PDVSA and its associated companies, with a special focus on the Orinoco Belt region.

Throughout the year, Venezuela has been increasing its production and crude oil exports constantly, although with significant monthly variations due to recurring power outages, maintenance issues and a lack of investment in production expansion.

During September, PDVSA and its collaborators sent an average of 812 thousand bpd of crude oil and fuel, mainly to China, both directly and through transshipment centers.

However, it is important to note that Chevron’s Venezuelan oil exports to the United States decreased slightly last month, going from 147 thousand bpd in August to 145 thousand bpd in Septemberaccording to data provided by Pdvsa and vessel tracking by LSEG.

It is worth remembering that in November of last year, Chevron obtained a US license that allowed it to expand its joint operations, which has contributed to a steady increase in production throughout this year. The American company plans to continue its growth, with the goal of increasing the combined production of its companies to 200 thousand bpd next year through a new drilling campaign.

The boost in exports during September was mainly due to an increase in the production and processing of extra heavy crude oil in Venezuela’s main oil regionthe Orinoco Belt, where interruptions had affected the crude oil mix in the month of August, according to official documents.

However, it is important to note that the increase in exports has also reduced PDVSA’s inventories of its most emblematic export crude oil, 16at the end of the month, which could have an impact on exports in the coming months, according to one of the reports consulted.

During the month of August, the member country of the OPEC reported crude oil production of 820 thousand bpd, exceeding what810 thousand bpd produced in Julywhich gives an accumulated average of around 785 thousand bpd so far this year.

In addition, Venezuela has increased exports to its main political ally, Cuba, sending around 86 thousand bpd of crude oil, fuel oil, diesel and gasoline in September, compared to the 65 thousand bpd exported in August. This action is of great relevance given that Cuba has been facing a fuel shortageand recently announced the possibility of blackouts due to low inventories of fuel needed to operate its power plants.

Finally, Venezuela also received imports of Iranian crude oil and US heavy naphtha in late August and September, key elements for crude oil refining and blending operations in the Orinoco region.

With information from El Público TV