Venezuela sees 2.3 mln bbl for market in April -document

Reuters

By Marianna Parraga

HOUSTON, March 28 (Reuters) - Venezuela's state-run PDVSA is offering at least 2.3 million barrels of crude, ultra low-sulfur diesel (ULSD) and jet fuel on the open market for delivery in April from its 187,000 bpd Puerto la Cruz refinery and other terminals in east Venezuela, an internal document says.

The company has ramped up tenders in recent weeks amid a bigger need for cash and decreasing domestic fuel demand because of protests against President Nicolas Maduro.

The tenders for April come after tenders in March to sell 730,000 barrels of ULSD, jet fuel, natural gasoline and light virgin naphtha.

"The company is long products after restarting several units at Amuay refinery," said a trader who negotiates with the state-owned company.

The document, seen by Reuters, says PDVSA and its joint ventures have available for April four 240,000 barrel cargoes of ULSD, one 240,000 barrel cargo of jet fuel and two 550,000 barrel cargoes of diluted crude oil going out from different blocks in the Orinoco belt.

Amuay, the largest refinery in Venezuela with 645,000 barrels per day (bpd) capacity, this year restarted two crude distillation units, but last week it halted the 72,000 bpd flexicoker for a 40-day maintenance program because of several problems with the unit's compressor.

IMPORTS

The document also says that PDVSA will import 54,000 bpd of diluted naphtha and cracked naphtha in April, mostly from its 335,000 bpd Isla refinery in Curacao, but also from Houston.

The company and its joint ventures plan to export 1.61 million bpd of medium and heavy crudes during April from terminals in eastern Venezuela to their regular clients.

These include Valero's refineries, Total's Port Arthur, ExxonMobil's Chalmette, Citgo's Lake Charles and Corpus Christi, Chevron's Pascagoula, Houston Refining and Phillips66's Freeport in the United States.

It will also send heavy to light crudes to Sinopec's Zhang Jiang refinery in China, Cupet's Cienfuegos in Cuba, Essar's Vadinar and Reliance's Sikka port in India, Repsol's La Coruna and Cartagena refineries in Spain, ANCAP in Uruguay and Kingston in Jamaica.

The document did not detail export plans from terminals in western Venezuela. PDVSA was not immediately available to comment.

Around 47.7 percent of crude oil exports going out from Eastern terminals in Venezuela in April has the United States as destination. India will be the second largest destination with 24 percent of total and China will receive 17.5 percent.

There are also 270,000 barrels of light virgin naphtha scheduled to be exported to Brazilian petrochemical company Braskem from Puerto la Cruz refinery.

This week PDVSA sent three cargoes of medium and light crudes to Uruguay's state-run ANCAP, according to the document.

In the first half of 2013 Venezuela exported 1.99 million bpd of crude and 495,000 bpd of refined products, according to PDVSA's latest financial report.

(Reporting by Marianna Parraga; Editing by Terry Wade and Stephen Powell)

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