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Failing Water Supply Adds to Woes for PDVSA’s Biggest Refineries

  • Desalting plant is working at 37%, halting most crude units
  • Cardon, Amuay refineries are depending on local utilities
The Paraguana oil refinery

The Paraguana oil refinery

Photographer: Fabian Ortega/Bloomberg

Lack of water is the latest challenge facing Venezuela’s biggest oil refineries.

Petroleos de Venezuela SA’s massive Paraguana refining complex, among the largest in the world, can barely operate because key filters at a $250 million plant installed in 2015 to remove salt from its water supply isn’t working. Without adequate water supply to generate power and the steam used to heat crude oil, the facility can’t produce gasoline and diesel.