CARACAS/VALENCIA, Venezuela (Reuters) – Venezuela’s state-run oil company Petroleos de Venezuela has halted gasoline output at its 146,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) El Palito refinery, two people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.
Output was halted on Monday due to an issue with a valve that caused a fire, said one of the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. PDVSA, which has struggled to produce fuel after years of underinvestment at its refineries, restarted gasoline output at the plant late last month.
PDVSA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The stoppage at El Palito left the 310,000-bpd Cardon refinery the only plant in the crisis-stricken OPEC nation producing gasoline. Output of the fuel at Cardon’s fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) unit was some 30,000 bpd as of Tuesday, according to a person familiar with the plant’s operations.
Venezuela has been plagued by chronic fuel shortages this year due to PDVSA’s refinery woes, as well as U.S. sanctions that have complicated gasoline imports.
Reporting by Deisy Buitrago in Caracas and Tibisay Romero in Valencia, Venezuela and Mircely Guanipa in Maracay, Venezuela; Writing by Luc Cohen; Editing by Lisa Shumaker