Amuay’s Maintenance Record Under the Spotlight

As you try to make sense of last night’s huge explosion in Amuay, do bear in mind that just this April, the indispensible Venepiramides was already on the case:

De acuerdo a la memoria y cuenta de Pdvsa del 2011, estaban pautadas 31 paradas programadas entre todas las refinerías del país, pero sólo se completaron 6, es decir 19,3% de la meta.

Según detalla el texto, tanto en el Complejo Refinador de Paraguaná (CRP), la Refinería Puerto La Cruz, como en la Refinería El Palito, la baja disponibilidad de materiales fue la constante que impidió llevar a cabo los mantenimientos. La mayor parte de estos trabajos fueron aplazados para el 2012.

En el caso de la refinería Amuay (parte de CRP) tenía previsto en el plan original del 2011 la ejecución de 9 mantenimientos, de los cuales sólo se realizaron 2. Incluso en el caso de las unidades que recibieron el servicio también estuvieron afectadas por el problema de los materiales.

Por ejemplo, la unidad de hidrotratamiento de VGO comenzó su parada el 15 de abril hasta el 15 de agosto, pero ésta debió extenderse otros 81 días, “motivados a retrasos asociados a la logística de recibo de equipos mayores”, explica la memoria y cuenta de la empresa estatal.

Situación similar ocurrió con la unidad HYAY-1, cuya parada se extendió 49 días más de lo previsto, “motivado a retrasos en la recepción de materiales asociados”.

En la refinería Amuay, entre sus diez unidades, los días de parada no programadas se incrementaron 70% con respecto al 2010, al pasar de 375 a 639 días.

Is it too early to get into this? No, I don’t think it is: if not now, when?

20 thoughts on “Amuay’s Maintenance Record Under the Spotlight

  1. Reports are now emerging in Twitter that the death toll will be more than 100 & many of the dead are Guardia Nacional that had a barracks beside the refinery & provided security for the installation.

    Supposedly the alarm system has been broken for 4 years.

    The gas was reportedly leaking for 1½ hours but there was no protocol to deal with it.

    This major disaster will affect gasoline supplies throughout the country.

    • Even lesser refinery calamities internationally have taken 3 months to fix…Now we don’t need the chip-rationing will simply be by lack of supply!

  2. I was thinking to myself, “Is it too early to talk about the political fallout?” I mean, a lot of people died and got hurt there. People are still grieving and the country is still counting its losses. The doctors are still working on saving the lives of the injured. Firefighters are still working to put out the fires. PDVSA is still trying to come to grips with the magnitude of the damage. So, is it too early to talk about how this will affect the election?

    Then I thought about the hundreds of people being killed each week due to the lack of security, and the lives lost and shattered from the escalating violence. Do we wait to weigh the political consequences of that?

    So, I don’t know. What do you think?

    • Good statement by Capriles: Apolitical, positive and supportive. Yet, he still managed to insert a reminder of other Chavismo failures.

      Side note: Why is it that I can read a written statement by Capriles in Spanish and understand it precisely, but the communications by the Chavistas I cannot understand, even when I know the meanings of every word?

    • I think this says a lot also about Chávez health, no message until 12pm, phone and not video, not going to the place (300km, that is not more than half an hour in a plane).

      • I looked at the distance, 369 km, I was a bit short, but it should be around half an hour in a plane (jet).

      • Maybe the delay had something to do with Chávez mental health. For nothing says more vote losses like this disaster. Plus the fact, it takes hours to figure out how to cover up responsibility for years of mismanagement.

    • Mentioning God — an important concept to a majority, across many religious divides — is a nice Caprilean touch. His message is a testament to the man’s ability to think in more profound terms than what we’re used to, thanks to14 years of It’s-All-About-Me.

  3. I know a US petroleum engineer consultant who has made numerous inspection tours of PDVSA facilities over the years. After the Chavista takeover of PDVSA, he told me, basic repair and maintenance went way down.While the explosion is sad and unfortunate, it is not surprising.What goes around, comes around. Or is that what comes around, goes around?

  4. The Google link at the top of the page includes an article which says that the Amuay refinery was responsible for 645,000 barrels a day, which I would estimate to be over 25% of Venezuela’s refining capacity. This will put a BIG crimp on the cashflow for the Venezuelan government. Are there sufficient cash reserves to cover the shortfall until the October election?

    • One of the articles I read said this refinery produces half of Venezuela’s capacity. But Venezuela does not export gasoline. In fact, it has to import gasoline because it does not have enough refinery capacity (in fairness, that assumes that the PDVSA refinery in Bonaire is “exporting” when it sends gasoline to Venezuela). So, the affect will be that Venezuela will have to import gasoline to cover the loss, which they may not be able to do quickly.

      The real question is: Are all the storage tanks topped off and how much gasoline is currently held in reserve? If the reserves run out, Venezuela may be facing massive gasoline shortages just before the election.

      • Actually the loss of the gasoline input will save the government cash. They can net out on the energy and labor used to produce a product that was given away.

        • But the government will have to import the gasoline -most likely from the Evil Empire- at market prices. That will cost a LOT of money. It isn’t as if Venezuela can go without gasoline for a month- especially the month before a presidential election. We don’t know how many days of gasoline the government has in storage tanks.

          • Not much gasoline left. My local filling station says that their stock will last until tomorrow, noon, and then there will be no more until who knows when…

  5. YO SOY FALCONIANA, MI PADRE UN OBRERO PETROLERO (DE LA ANTIGUA LAGOVEN, REFINERÍA DE AMUAY) QUE CON MERITOCRACIA Y VERDADERA VOCACIÓN ASCENDIÓ A LOS MÁS ALTOS NIVELES LABORALES, HASTA DONDE PUDOS CON SU ESCASA PREPARACIÓN ACADÉMICA; SÓLO TENÍA EL SEXTO GRADO DE EDUCACIÓN PRIMARIA. CUANDO SE JUBILO TUVO QUE ADIESTRAR INGENIEROS QUE SERÍAN LOS ENCARGADOS DE SUPLIRLO. DE ESA ÉPOCA RECUERDO MUCHAS COSAS, UNA DE ELLAS LA PIZARRA QUE DÍA A DÍA CAMBIABA SU NUMERACIÓN PARA AGREGAR LA CANTIDAD DE HORAS – HOMBRES SIN ACCIDENTES QUE LAMENTAR… PARA NOSOTROS ERA UN ORGULLO. CUANDO NACIÓ MI HIJA PARA ELLA ESA ERA LA COMPAÑÍA DE SU LELO… AHORA DESDE HACE UNOS AÑOS PARA ACÁ, YO A LAS PUERTAS DE CUMPLIR 50 AÑOS, HAN MUERTOS MAS DE 20 PERSONAS EN LA REFINERÍA DE AMUAY SIN CONTAR POR SUPUESTO ESTE ÚLTIMO QUE SEGÚN CIFRAS OFICIALES SUMAN 39 Y EXTRAOFICIALES MÁS DE 100
    NO SE SI LA GASOLINA COMENZARÁ A ESCASEAR, LA REFINERÍA DE CARDÓN SE SUPONE QUE ESTÁ EN PLENO FUNCIONAMIENTO, SIN EMBARGO AHORA SÓLO PUEDO PENSAR EN LA TRISTEZA U EL DOLOR CAUSADO POR LA INEPTITUD DE QUIENES TIENEN EN SU PODER LAS RIENDAS DE MI PATRIA. INEPTITUD PARA ALGUNAS COSAS PERO PARA CONVENCER Y ARRASTRAR A LOS MENTALMENTE MÁS DÉBILES SON MUY INTELIGENTES

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