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Irina Slav

Irina Slav

Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.

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Total, Equinor To Quit Venezuela Venture

French TotalEnergies and Norwegian Equinor will exit their oil joint venture with PDVSA, Bloomberg has reported, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter.

TotalEnergies held a 30-percent stake in the Petrocedeno venture, and Equinor held 10 percent in the company. But now, both have transferred these stakes to the Venezuelan state-owned oil firm, according to the Bloomberg sources. The report said the news was expected to be confirmed by the Venezuelan government on Wednesday, but as of the time of writing, there was no official confirmation.

Petrocedeno operates an oil field in Venezuela’s oil heartland, the Orinoco Belt, and an upgrader that blends the heavy crude produced in the Orinoco Belt with lighter hydrocarbons to make it easier to transport.

Both TotalEnergies and Equinor have been present in Venezuela for decades. The companies stuck to Petrocedeno despite U.S. sanctions. Now, however, both companies are embarking on a course towards more renewable energy and less oil and gas, and, like others in the industry, focusing only on their best core business assets.

Venezuela, meanwhile, continues to make plans for reviving its struggling oil industry, targeting oil production of 1.5 million bpd by the end of this year. This would be a threefold increase over current production rates. Before the U.S. imposed sanctions on the oil-rich country, Venezuela pumped some 2.4 million bpd.

Last month, troubled PDVSA enjoyed a surge in oil exports as well, as traders rushed to sell Venezuelan crude—often masked as Malaysian—to Chinese buyers before the entry into effect of a new tax that would make imports costlier.

Production of crude in Venezuela also increased in June, thanks to the restart of the Petrocedeno upgrader and a blending plant.

“Without any financing, with our own money, we’ve been able to invest enough to stop the slide and start a gradual recovery,” oil minister Tareck El Aissami said in early July.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on July 29 2021 said:
    Were they pushed by US sanctions or did they jump? Still, Venezuela won’t be short of suitors when the time comes to open its doors to the world’s largest oil wealth.

    Total’s and Equinor’s reason that they are embarking on a course towards more renewable energy and less oil and gas focusing only on their best core business assets, is hardly convincing since their best core business is oil and gas.

    Venezuela is headed towards a production of 1.5 million barrels a day (mbd) before the end of 2021 irrespective whether US sanctions are lifted or not.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London
  • George Doolittle on July 30 2021 said:
    Canada is doing 3 million barrels a day plus and has an entire Industry that is barely solvent at current prices so no, no one actually believes Venezuela will be tripling production in the next few Months as

    A: China's Xi has enforced an economic collapse upon all of China and

    B: this has a massive impact upon all of Canada that has been felt immediately there with a massive real estate crisis starting to unfold upon the Great White North. Exports of energy product into the USA which still suffers from an absolutely stupendous glut from its own production could move massively higher is the the news from the while "Line 3 pipeline expansion" rantings and ravings.

    If that pipeline comes into service this Fall that would triple US energy inputs from 500,000 barrels per day to 1.5 *MILLION* barrels of oil per day into Northwestern Wisconsin and presumably the Port of Superior. That would be great news for United Airlines if that came about obviously.

Leave a comment

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