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PDVSA has said Jose port is working without delays.

PDVSA most likely is lying. It's the not so new modus operandi of our government.

The way I've heard the story (I can't vouch for it), Venezuelan crude is so heavy and sour that it needs a boost before it can be refined. I know that the deposits on the Orinoco belt are extra heavy. They used to make bunker fuel from it, Orimulsion, by emulsifying it with a process developed by or in collaboration with BP. For some reason they seem to have stopped making it, or so I heard.

Another reason given by current PDVSA management is that with rising crude oil prices, it has been found that mixing or diluting Orinoco bitumen (extra-heavy oil) with a lighter crude oil can make this blend more profitable as a crude oil on the world market than by selling it as Orimulsion. An example of this is the popular Merey blend (Orinoco bitumen and Mesa crude oil). ConocoPhillips along with PDVSA operate the Merey Sweeny 58,000-barrel-per-day (9,200 m3/d) (bpd) delayed coker, vacuum tower and related facilities at ConocoPhillips' refinery in Sweeny, Texas, U.S.A. for processing and upgrading heavy sour Merey crude oil.[citation needed]

Denny Schlesinger
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