While PDVSA loses ground, the Saudis approach Curaçao

WILLEMSTAD – As Curaçao Chronicle has reported before, the government of Curaçao is considering handing over to Motiva Enterprises the operations of the Isla refinery, which are currently in the hands of the Venezuelan State Oil Company PDVSA.

Curaçao has ceased to be a paradise for Petróleos de Venezuela to become the jurisdiction chosen by a large part of the creditors who claim debt with the Venezuelan state.

This is due in large part to the strategic facility with which the assets of the Venezuelan oil company can be seized from this location.

PDVSA has a list of valuable assets in the Dutch Caribbean, a list that includes everything from refineries to storage facilities.

One of them, the Isla refinery, remains partially inactive to date, after it stopped oil production and commercialization activities in May 2018 due to a legal dispute between PDVSA and ConocoPhillips.

Earlier this year, the government of Curaçao began a bidding process in search of companies that met the requirements necessary for the operation of the refinery facilities. Preliminarily, the government has decided on the company Motiva Enterprises as a replacement for PDVSA to reactivate the refinery which current production capacity is 335,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd).

Motiva Enterprises, a US subsidiary of Saudi Refining, a subsidiary of oil giant Saudi Aramco, would begin activities - should the necessary agreements be signed - at the Isla refinery by 2020, since the PDVSA concession would expire on December 31, 2019. This action could be ahead of an agreement between the parties involved.

In other articles, Curaçao Chronicle stressed that Venezuela promised to cooperate in the transition from the island's refinery to a new operator. Despite the interest shown by the Venezuelan oil company in continuing its activities in Curaçao, the strongest and preferred candidate for the government of Eugene Rhuggenaath is Motiva Enterprises, a company that has financial strength and extensive experience in crude production.

The loss of these facilities that were destined for storage, refining and distribution of Venezuelan crude, represents a further setback in the process of expansion -or perhaps survival- of a battered PDVSA, which continues to weaken and lose ground in the international market of hydrocarbons.


Likewise, the assets of the Venezuelan state company in the islands of Bonaire and Statia have been threatened by the conflict with the ConocoPhillips company that seeks to recover its investments in Venezuela.

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