Venezuela to invest $ 45 bn to build and maintain refineries
State-owned Petroleos de Venezuela (PdVSA) said it plans to invest $ 45 bn this decade to maintain its domestic refinery network in the country and build other crude-processing facilities.
The director of PdVSA’s Paraguana complex, Jesus Luongo, made the announcement, saying the plan will also require the construction of adjacent “social infrastructure” to avoid creating “areas of poverty surrounding the oil installations”.
In planning projects of this magnitude, “thought is given not only to oil infrastructure but also to the most important thing: people”.
“That’s why we talk about building schools, hospitals, houses, roads, bridges and trains,” Luongo said.
PdVSA “applies a policy that requires that the materials and human talent to be used in building new projects be Venezuelan, with a view to creating jobs and wealth inside the country”, he said.
Venezuela owns a dozen refineries in several countries, including the United States.
For his part, the president of the company’s PdVSA Industrial subsidiary, Ower Manrique, said that until President Hugo Chavez’s administration took full control of the oil giant in 2003 “they brought everything from abroad and never created an industrial base that could grow in tandem with the domestic oil sector”.
The state oil company is seeking to “provide incentives for the domestic and international business community to invest in the country and support” efforts to carry out 22 PdVSA Industrial projects “in the metal-mechanic, oil supplies, machinery, chemical products and electronic products sectors”, he said.
PdVSA hosted the inaugural Integral Congress on Hydrocarbons, a gathering attended by business leaders in the energy sector and complimentary areas that served as a forum for the sealing of joint-venture partnerships.
The president of Venezuela’s Petroleum Chamber, Mauricio Canard, said in kicking off the gathering that Venezuela is now focused on spurring the country’s development by exploiting its proven oil reserves in the Orinoco Belt in north-eastern Venezuela, as well as its associated and non-associated gas reserves estimated at 195 tcf.
To that end, PdVSA has already formed more than 40 joint ventures with international and domestic energy companies, Canard told.
For his part, Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez, who is also PdVSA’s president, said the Orinoco Belt is the world’s largest oil reserve and has almost 300 bn barrels of recoverable crude using current technology.