Venezuela’s Suffering Oil Giant Receives An Unlikely Lifeline

PDVSA signed an agreement with an India-based hardware manufacturer to help it with its struggling oil industry, S&P Global Platts said on Tuesday, who saw the document.

The Indian firm, Flash Forge Private Limited, supplies the oil and gas industry, as well as the power and marine industries, according to Bloomberg.

According to the deal, which was signed in April this year, Flash Forge agreed to provide “materials, equipment, inputs and spare parts” for oilfields in the Orinoco Belt. It will also help PDVSA to restore gas compression plans, water and gas injection plans, extra-heavy crude treatment process and electric power generation.

PDVSA has long maintained that it will increase its crude oil production after years of steady decreases, and October’s production was already up 50,000 bpd from September, at 650,000 bpd. Most notably, S&P Platts reported last month, that PDVSA’s production in the Orinoco Belt had risen to 403,000 bpd in the third week of October, up from 234,000 bpd from the second week.

The increase was due in part to the reactivation of some wells, but it still have a variety of challenges to overcome to bring more production back online, and it is unclear if any of the gains so far are attributed to Flash Forge’s work, or whether the company has completed any work at all yet.

PDVSA has also struggled with refinery production, but its challenges there go well beyond hardware as well, with sanctions, insufficient cash flow, water shortages, and power disruptions all taking a toll.

PDVSA announced plans last month to boost its production in 2020 to 1.2 million bpd, although it did not disclose any details of the plan, other than to suggest it would implement an “austerity campaign” on PDVSA employee expenses.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com