Adamant: Hardest metal
Thursday, July 10, 2003

Venezuela Says Oil Exports at 2.34 Mln Barrels/Day (Update1)

June 25 (Bloomberg) -- Petroleos de Venezuela SA, the nation's state-owned oil company, said crude exports total 2.34 million barrels a day, about 14 percent less than the level before a two-month national strike began in December.

The company is exporting less even though production has returned to pre-strike levels, the company's sales director, Nelson Reyes, told the state news agency. Before the strike, Venezuela, a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, exported about 2.7 million barrels a day.

To make up for the shortfall ``we are having direct negotiations with companies with refineries for export and oil sales,'' Reyes said.

Petroleos de Venezuela is trying to make up for market share lost during the strike, which was aimed at forcing President Hugo Chavez from office. Petroleos de Venezuela fired 18,000 employees out of its pre-strike workforce of 33,000 to break the work stoppage, which ended Feb. 1.

Petroleos de Venezuela is now producing 3.34 million barrels a day, including liquid natural gas, Reyes said.

The company's domestic refineries are processing 1.17 million barrels a day. Inventories stand at 16.2 million barrels, or about 40 percent of the company's capacity, he said.

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