PDVSA to Upgrade Orinoco Projects On-Site

Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA will implement a pilot program to upgrade crude on-site at four ongoing projects that together produce 620,000 barrels a day (b/d) of Orinoco extra-heavy crude.

The pilot will use MIS, a technology developed by PDVSA's R&D unit Intevep to upgrade crude from API grade 7 to API grade 22 before it leaves its natural deposits, Miguel Ford, E&P general manager at PDVSA R&D unit Intevep told BNamericas.

The technology would allow PDVSA to save the millions it takes to build upgrading units for its crude.

"We want MIS to be applied to all Orinoco production: new, current, everywhere," Ford said.

PDVSA will decide whether to implement MIS widely after tests wrap up next year.

"We are at the final stage, improving, among other things, surface safety," Ford said. "We are fine-tuning installations, not the underlying technology."

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