Processing Magazine

Venezuela to Split With US Partner

April 10, 2008
According to the Associated Press, Venezuela wants to replace Exxon Mobil Corp. as its partner in a U.S. oil refinery partly controlled by its state-run oil company, the oil minister said Wednesday.

Rafael Ramirez said Venezuela is counting on having another operator for a refinery located in the New Orleans suburb of Chalmette that is jointly owned by Exxon and Venezuela''s state-run oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA, or PDVSA.

Exxon did not immediately respond to requests seeking comment.

The refinery in Chalmette processes about 190,000 barrels of heavy crude a day.

PDVSA and the Irving, Texas-based Exxon are locked in a legal battle over compensation for Venezuela''s nationalization of a jointly owned heavy oil project in the South American country''s Orinoco basin.

Ramirez said last month that PDVSA began rerouting oil to China that had previously been sent to Chalmette because Exxon had stopped ordering crude for the refinery amid continued legal wrangling between the two companies.