Key Venezuelan oil company PDVSA and its partners are facing difficulties in maintaining oil extraction and production amid an ongoing blackout that has affected most of the country, Bloomberg reported, citing an anonymous senior oil ministry official. Some oil wells and plants have been brought to a complete standstill due to electricity problems, caused by an incident at the Guri power plant.
The source didn't provide any numbers to reveal the scope of the problem, but described it as "severe". Neither the country's oil ministry, nor PDVSA has commented on the report.
Consulting company Energy Aspects alleges that production has been cut in half from 1.1 million barrels a day down to 500,000 barrels.
"Operations halted at main facilities, reducing output of main synthetic grades and blended Merey to almost zero", the company wrote in a note to its clients.
Apart from electricity shortages, the oil industry in Venezuela is suffering from American sanctions on its exports imposed in 2018. They have reportedly led to a reduction in investments necessary for the development of the country's industry because it deals with heavy grade crude that needs special technologies and materials for blending to market grade crude.
The blackout hit Venezuela on 7 March after an incident at a major hydroelectric power plant, Guri, with National electricity supplier Corpoelec reporting the incident had been a result of "sabotage". Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has stated that US President Donald Trump is responsible for the cyber attack on Venezuela's electricity system, highlighting Washington's earlier statement that all scenarios regarding regime change in the Latin American state were being considered.