Venezuela says no fuel shortage as Paraguana refineries undergo restart
CARACAS Nov 11 (Reuters) - Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA said on Tuesday that two refineries at its Paraguana complex hit by outages in recent days were undergoing a "safe restart" and fuel supplies around the country were guaranteed meanwhile.
The 645,000 barrel-per-day Amuay refinery, Venezuela's largest, was knocked out by a blackout last week, while a storm halted the adjacent 310,000-bpd Cardon plant at the weekend.
Work is underway to restore operations at both installations by the end of the week, workers and officials say.
"The Paraguana Refining Center is in the process of a safe restart, in accordance with the established plan and the relevant security protocols," PDVSA said in a statement, without specifying when both refineries would be fully operational.
"All actions have been taken to guarantee the normal supply of fuel and lubricants across the national territory," it added, saying inventories allowed for normal deliveries.
PDVSA urged Venezuelans to ignore "destabilizing rumors" about "false shortage" of fuels.
International traders say PDVSA is seeking up to eight 300,000-barrel cargoes of ultra low-sulfur diesel (USLD) and gasoline RON 91 and 95 to fill the gap left by the Paraguana complex's problems.
Oil and trading firms BP, Noble Group and Vitol are among companies offering the products, they said, in what would be PDVSA's biggest unplanned such buy since 2012. (Writing by Andrew Cawthorne; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)
© Thomson Reuters 2017 All rights reserved.