Gasoline shortages get worsen in Venezuela due to the PDVSA’s truck fleet in disrepair

Venezuelan refineries are not producing sufficient gasoline, besides there are not enough trucks to distribute that fuel, neither. A tanker truck fleet that once had more than 1,000 units are reduced to around 203, PDVSA workers say. Now, the once-mighty state oil company has to hire private-sector trucks and drivers.

Employees in Puerto Cabello stations say they have to check gasoline levels more often now that gasoline shipments are once again spotty. Photo by Francisco Chirinos.

The Nicolas Maduro regime is once again facing the gasoline shortages in the country, only one month after getting 1.5 million barrels from its ally Iran.

State oil company PDVSA workers indicate that only 203 trucks are in shape to distribute gasoline, out of a fleet that once had 1,000 tanker trucks.

That is one of the causes of the reappearance of long lines at the service station sources told El Pitazo: the deficit of fuel transport.

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El Palito refinery (part of PDVSA) in Carabobo state, is reportedly producing 50,000 barrels of gasoline a day. But long lines are back despite the resumption in production.

The employees of the PDVSA subsidiary estimate that the fleet currently has 203 trucks in the country, of which 45 cover distribution in Carabobo.

Leaders of the Federation of Oil Workers from Venezuela (Futpv in Spanish) told El Pitazo that, during the period of Rafael Ramírez as a president, the oil company bought more than 1,000 tank trucks from China, investing millions of dollars, to create the National Transport Company (ENT in Spanish).

The people at the doors of the pumps waiting for the gasoline truck to arrive, unload, and begin to dispatch. Photo by Francisco Chirinos.

ENT is the distribution company of PDVSA gasoline and diesel. The fact is that in a few years, more than 70% of this fleet of heavy vehicles was out of service due to a lack of spare parts, tires, and batteries. Of the 203 trucks in operation nationwide, 45 operate in the state of Carabobo (home to El Palito): 24 at the PDVSA Yagua filling plant and 21 at the El Palito refinery proper, according to oil leaders.

The shortage forces PDVSA to hire trucks from private companies, a transaction that involves spending a large amount of money that the industry does not have.

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