UPDATE 1-Venezuelan heavy oil upgrader restarted – PDVSA

* All operating processes working, company says

* 130,000 bpd facility down since Sept. 27
(Adds details, background)

CARACAS, Nov 2 (BestGrowthStock) – Venezuela’s
130,000-barrel-per-day Petroanzoategui heavy crude upgrader has
restarted after being out of action since late September due to
boiler problems, state oil firm PDVSA said on Tuesday.

After a source told Reuters on Monday that the restarting
process had begun, a statement from the company on Tuesday
confirmed “the normalization of all its operating processes.”

The facility in the South American OPEC member’s Orinoco
extra heavy oil belt had been out since Sept. 27.

Workers tried to restart it last month, a union leader
said, but they were forced to halt the effort after a chemical
leak injured six employees at the site.

Last year, Venezuela had to stop three of the four
upgraders in the Orinoco region after apparently minor faults
threatened production in the projects, which were nationalized
in 2007.

Petroanzoategui is the only one of the four Orinoco
upgraders 100 percent owned and operated by PDVSA.

The upgraders convert tar-like crude from fields to the
north of the Orinoco River into exportable oil.

The company blamed last year’s stoppages at the
Petrocedeno, Petroanzoategui and Petropiar facilities, which
were built in the 1990s, on obsolete equipment, inadequate
pre-nationalization maintenance and design flaws.

Venezuela’s socialist President Hugo Chavez kicked Exxon
Mobil Corp (XOM.N: ) and ConocoPhillips (COP.N: ) off the
multibillion-dollar upgrader projects after they refused to
accept a minority stake under nationalization.

Chevron (CVX.N: ), BP (BP.L: )(BP.N: ), Total (TOTF.PA: ) and
Statoil (STL.OL: ) accepted more limited terms. Last month, BP
said it was selling its stake in the Petromonagas upgrader to
its Russian joint venture TNK-BP (TNBPI.RTS: ). [ID:nLDE69H0FW]

The latest outage followed a string of accidents and
maintenance stoppages across PDVSA’s refinery and distribution
network that have forced Venezuela to import oil products.
(Editing by Walter Bagley)

UPDATE 1-Venezuelan heavy oil upgrader restarted – PDVSA