Venezuela is contemplating using foreign crude oil to produce fuel for the first time, according to Reuters.
The country sits on the world’s largest oil reserves, many of them offshore, but is in an economic recession and has been badly hurt by the crisis at state oil firm Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA), which has been struggling for some time to meet fuel export commitments.
PDVSA has been hamstrung by a lack of light crudes to refine, shortages of spare parts, poor maintenance and management failures.
It is also being hampered by Houston-based oil firm ConocoPhillips, which is trying to enforce an arbitration ruling in its favour by seizing $2 billion of PDVSA assets in the Caribbean.
Without allowing foreign crude to be refined, PDVSA’s refineries will be running at a third of their capacity.
But if it decides, against all precedent, to import crude for its domestic refineries, PDVSA could still process up to 57,000 barrels per day.
Meanwhile the national government announced on Wednesday that the new CFO for PDVSA would be Iris Medina, Vice President of state-run National Housing Bank. She replaces Iliana Ruzza Teran.