Refining is the process whereby hydrocarbons are transformed into by-products. PDVSA processes crude oil at 20 refineries: five in Venezuela and 15 in the rest of the world.
Many products are obtained from oil, from extremely volatile gases and liquids like gasoline, to very thick fluids such as asphalt and even solids such as paraffin waxes. In general terms, the basic petroleum derivatives are: gas, motor gasoline, aviation gasoline, kerosene, diesel, solvents, lubricating bases, paraffin, fuel oil and asphalt.
In addition to these by-products, PDVSA supplies materials to petrochemical plants and manufacturing companies to produce synthetic rubber, synthetic fibers, fertilizers, explosives, insecticides, medicines, toiletries, and thousands of other products.
PDVSA's domestic refining business consists of six refineries: Amuay, Cardón, Bajo Grande, El Palito, Puerto La Cruz and San Roque, located in different parts of the country. In 2015, the volume of crude processed in the National Refining System was 863 thousand barrels per day (MBD) (the transfer of 3 MBD of residual to the crude processed at Refinery El Palito, from Puerto La Cruz Refinery is discounted). In addition, 149 MBD of inputs for processes and mixtures were received. 1,012 MBD of products were obtained with this level of crude and inputs, of which 290 MBD correspond to gasoline and naphtha, 282 MBD jet and distillate, 294 MBD residual, 14 MBD asphalt, 5 MBD to lubricants and 127 MBD to other products.
In 2015 PDVSA, through its international businesses, processed a volume of crude oil of 1,089 MBD, of which 490 MBD were supplied by PDVSA.
Also, 152 MBD of inputs for processes and mixtures were received. The volume of products was 1,241 MBD, of which 484 MBD correspond to gasoline and naphtha, 205 MBD to jet and distillate, 326 MBD to residual, 18 MBD to asphalt, 9 MBD to lubricants and 199 MBD to other products and specialties.
For the year 2015, the shareholding of PDVSA in the refining business abroad was reduced, upon completion of the sale of Chalmette Refining LLC.