Iran's Oil Minister Javad Owji announced on Sunday that Iran has completed repairs to Venezuela's El Palito refinery, which allows more than 100,000 barrels of Iranian oil per day to be refined overseas in the rogue South American socialist nation, according to a report published by Islamic Republic News. Agency on Monday.
“This was an old dream, as of 43 years ago, that thanks to [Iran’s National Oil Products Distribution Company] colleagues and its managing director’s efforts and pursuance, and intensive planning, was materialized for the first time, and will continue in other parts of the world, as well,” Owji said.
Iran has been a key figure in helping the Maduro regime restore Venezuela's oil industry after the socialist regime nearly destroyed it over the past decade. Since May, Maduro's regime has been importing Iranian oil to feed its partially functioning refineries.
The two countries signed a new 20-year cooperation agreement in June.
In exchange for continued aid, the Maduro regime has made several concessions to Iran's Islamic regime, including handing over a supermarket chain in 2020 that the socialist regime had seized in previous years and offering Iran a generous amount of Venezuelan farmland.
El Palito Refinery, located in Carabobo, Venezuela, is one of Venezuela's state-owned refineries, which in its heyday was capable of refining up to 146,000 barrels of oil per day. After years of socialist mismanagement, the Maduro regime, like the rest of the country, carelessly ran Venezuela's oil refineries into the ground, causing Venezuela to lose almost all of its oil refining capacity by 2019. El Palito has been virtually paralyzed since 2017 after a fire caused significant damage to its infrastructure, crippling its refining capacity to 14.28 percent of its maximum capacity. Since then, the Maduro regime has tried several times without success to restore operations at the refinery.
In 2020, the Maduro regime again unsuccessfully tried to reactivate El Palito, causing an oil spill that severely affected the ecosystem of Venezuela's Morrocoy National Park, which could take up to fifty years to recover.
In May, Iran's Islamic regime and the Maduro regime signed a 110 million euro (about $107 million) deal for Iran to repair El Palito. Iran has also been supplying oil to the Maduro regime since 2020 to compensate for fuel shortages in Venezuela - the country with the world's largest proven oil reserves.
The 100,000 bpd of Iranian oil that the Islamic regime's oil minister says El Palito will now refine will join the roughly 659,000 bpd that Maduro's regime produced in September, according to OPEC reports — below the average of 714,000 bpd . per day it produced during the second quarter of 2022, well short of the 2 million barrels of oil the socialist dictator promised OPEC for 2022.
Venezuela was producing 3.1 million barrels per day before the arrival of Hugo Chávez's Bolivarian revolution in 1999. The socialist regime was able to relatively maintain the same production until it inevitably began to decline due to socialist mismanagement.
While the Maduro regime often blames US sanctions for causing the country's oil output to decline, Venezuela's oil output had been steadily declining long before any sanctions were imposed on state oil company PDVSA in 2019. an average of 2.3-2.7 million barrels per day in 2013 to an average of 1.3-1.5 million barrels per day in 2018, according to historical OPEC data.
According to a Wall Street Journal report published on October 5, the Biden administration is reportedly preparing to ease oil sanctions against the Maduro regime, which would potentially allow Chevron to pump Venezuelan oil again, which could increase Venezuela's oil production to as much as 1.5 million barrels per day. within two years, if other companies can operate in Venezuela alongside Chevron.
A Wall Street Journal report said potential oil sanctions being prepared by the Biden administration would only be granted if the Maduro regime and Venezuela's "opposition" re-engaged in negotiations, which they have done many times in the past without success. The Biden administration is insisting that the two sides return to the negotiating table to discuss the terms for holding a "free and fair" presidential election in 2024.