Venezuela’s main oil port of Jose, operated by state-run oil giant Pdvsa, was virtually shut down following a massive power blackout Monday, two oil industry workers and a union leader close to the facility told Reuters.
The most recent oil shipment for export, on very large crude carrier Dragon, chartered by Russia’s Rosneft, left the Jose terminal on March 24, according to Refinitiv Eikon vessel-tracking data and PDVSA’s trade documents, Reuters reported.
“There is no electricity, everything is paralyzed,” oil workers’ union leader Jose Bodas told Reuters Tuesday.
The blackout, Venezuela’s second major power outage in a month, left streets mostly empty in the capital city of Caracas as school and work were canceled, Kallanish Energy understands.
President Nicolas Maduro’s government again blamed the outage on an “attack,” which comes amid a power struggle with the opposition and tension with the U.S.
Both the current outage and a prolonged blackout that began March 7 were due to years of underinvestment and lack of maintenance, experts told Reuters.
The earlier blackout also halted oil exports at Jose, the base of the OPEC nation’s economy, eroding total export amounts and causing delays in loading and discharging oil.
Neither PDVSA nor Venezuela’s oil ministry immediately responded to requests for comment.
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