The new refinery projects are Caripito, Barinas and Cabruta, all of which are near the Orinoco belt, said the statement, which quoted PDVSA vice-president Alejandro Granado's address to the annual meeting of the National Petrochemical and Refining Association in San Francisco, California.
Deep conversion cracking units transform low-value fuel oil into light products such as diesel and gasoline. Granado foresees the demand for refined products increasing by 12mb/d by 2010, and present refining capacity keeping pace until only 2008. Considering that building a new refinery takes 3-5 years, "we should do something and do it now," he said.
Upstream, PDVSA plans to increase crude production capacity to more than 5mb/d by 2009 from present levels of 3.7mb/d in US$37bn investments that PDVSA would provide 74% of and private investors 26%.
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