Venezuela's PDVSA halts gasoline output at El Palito refinery -sources


CARACAS, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Venezuelan state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela PDVSA.UL halted gasoline production at the 146,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) El Palito C}RO7309414339 refinery earlier this week, four people familiar with the matter said.

The outage was due to electricity issues at the fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) unit, one of the people said, and several attempts to restart the unit over the course of this week have been unsuccessful. The refinery was previously producing between 20,000-30,000 bpd of gasoline.

El Palito had been one of just two refineries in Venezuela producing modest amounts of gasoline for domestic consumption amid widespread fuel shortages in the once-prosperous OPEC nation, spurred by years of underinvestment at PDVSA's 1.3 million bpd refining network and, more recently, U.S. sanctions.

PDVSA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Over the weekend, the reformer unit at the 310,000 bpd Cardon refinery began producing some 25,000 bpd of gasoline.

(Reporting by Deisy Buitrago in Caracas Additional reporting by Tibisay Romero in Valencia, Venezuela and Mircely Guanipa in Maracay, Venezuela Writing by Luc Cohen Editing by Bernadette Baum)

((; +58 424 133 7696; Reuters Messaging: Twitter: @cohenluc))

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