Tankers gather off PDVSA ports amid delays exporting fuel oil

HOUSTON (Reuters) - An accumulation of tankers waiting to load around Venezuelan ports has grown in recent days as state-run oil company PDVSA struggles to deliver fuel oil for exports, according to traders and Reuters vessel tracking data.

FILE PHOTO - The corporate logo of the state oil company PDVSA is seen at a gas station in Caracas, Venezuela November 3, 2017. REUTERS/Marco Bello

Venezuela is heavily dependent on oil exports. PDVSA’s revenue represents more than 90 percent of the South American country’s revenue in foreign currency.

PDVSA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

** The OPEC member’s crude output fell in October to its lowest level in almost three decades due to payment delays to oil service firms and lack of investment, affecting exports and the volume of crude available for domestic refining

** PDVSA’s largest refining complex, the 955,000-barrel-per-day Paraguana, was working at 13 percent of capacity earlier this month due to a fire, problems to maintain equipment and a declining input of domestic medium and light crudes

** The outages have knocked down four of five crude distillations units at Amuay refinery, one of the facilities that integrate the complex, affecting PDVSA’s refined products output, especially fuel oil for exports

** As of Dec. 11, four tankers were waiting around Paraguana to load dirty products, and another 8 tankers were waiting to load crude and dirty products at Jose port, PDVSA’s main terminal for exports

** The backlog of tankers waiting to load adds to around 10 tankers waiting to discharge oil imports, mainly clean products for Venezuela’s domestic market that have not been delivered as payments have not yet been received by sellers

** From January through September, PDVSA and its joint ventures exported 1.59 million bpd of crude, down from 1.69 million bpd for all of last year, according to Reuters data.

** Venezuela’s exports of fuel oil fell to 67,000 bpd in the first four months of this year, compared with 165,000 bpd last year, according to PDVSA’s internal reports.

** PDVSA’s main receiver of fuel oil is PetroChina Co. It also sells fuel oil to Cuba’s Cubametales

Reporting by Marianna ParragaEditing by Sandra Maler