Venezuela’s state oil firm PDVSA will operate Curacao’s 335,000 barrel-per-day Isla refinery for as much as a year more, a spokesperson for Curacao’s state refining firm, Refineria di Koursou(RdK).
PDVSA’s agreement to operate the refinery was set to expire at the end of the year. The spokesperson termed the contracts as a “transition” measure as RdK continued efforts to look for a new operator.
RdK stated in September that it had opened exclusive discussions with industrial commodities conglomerate Klesch to operate the refinery.
RdK stated at the time that by the end of November, they could reach a definitive contract. Discussions with Klesch are underway, the spokesperson said.
Leaving Isla would be an additional blow to PDVSA, which has seen its crude output plummet by over half since 2016 due to underinvestment and mismanagement, and more recently resulting from U.S. sanctions meant to force out Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
PDVSA President Manuel Quevedo, Venezuela’s oil minister, visited Curacao back in July to talk about the possibility for the firm staying on to operate the refinery.
RdK executives met with Quevedo in Caracas Saturday to discuss the transition deal, the corporate mentioned in a statement, adding that the events mentioned the possibility of doing maintenance work on the refinery.
Neither PDVSA nor Venezuela’s oil ministry instantly responded to requests for remark.
In May, the Trump administration issued a license allowing Curacao’s refinery to keep working with PDVSA by January 2020 despite the penalties.
RdK mentioned in the assertion that the license allowed for a new transition interval of as much as a year during which the corporate can generate the income required to take care of refining operations and pay employees, however, not turn a profit.