17:08 GMT15 August 2020
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    Venezuela has called for the blending of its heavy crude with light oil from other OPEC members in a bid to boost market competitiveness.

    Venezuela is proposing that it blend its heavy crude with light oil from other OPEC countries to create a consistent new grade that could compete against increasing US and Canadian supplies, according to Eulogio del Pino, head of the Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA.

    He said that the idea was discussed at the Summit of the Americas in Panama earlier this month and at a meeting with OPEC ambassadors in Caracas last week.

    The proposal stipulates supplying refineries designed for medium-grade crude, rather than the light oil, which has become plentiful as the North American shale boom shows no sign of abating.

    "We have five refineries in the Gulf of Mexico we own or share. Most of the refineries were built there for medium-heavy oil. They are not adapted for the new light oil from fracking in the United States," Del Pino said.

    If agreed to, the plan may help Venezuela capitalize more on its heavy grades and compete with Canadian crude, which is currently being sent to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast.

    The plan may also help other OPEC members successfully compete against US shale.

    "We are proposing to blend oils from here with theirs, to go to the market together," Del Pino said, referring to Algeria and Angola as potential partners.  Both countries export light blends.

    The two countries' combined exports to the United States reportedly plummeted from about one million barrels per day in 2010 to under 150,000 barrels per day in January 2014.

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    Tags:
    refinery, supplies, grade, proposal, plan, crude, oil, OPEC, PDVSA, United States, Angola, Algeria, Venezuela
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