$4-billion loss at Petrojam between April 2015 and October 2017

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Reports are that there findings contained in an internal audit of the State-owned oil refinery Petrojam indicate that were losses of over $4-billion between April 2015 and October 2017.

The audit, which was conducted by Petrojam's minority owner, Petroleos de Venezuela, PDVSA, finds that Petrojam did not meet its operational targets over the two and a half year period.

And, although Petrojam did turn a profit over the period, the report notes that was only because oil prices were in the company's favour, and other external conditions turned out to be beneficial.

The audit uncovers major inefficiencies at the refinery, caused by outdated technology and worn out facilities. These led to opportunity losses of nearly USD$23-million.

Invoicing errors also led to another 6-million US dollars in losses, while physical losses of product, due to things like evaporation, cost the company USD$2-million more than estimated. That's a total loss of over USD$31-million or JMD$4-billion.

The audit finds that unaccounted oil losses have been increasing in the last two years. This has surpassed the maximum allowed objective for both fiscal years 2015/16 and 2016/17. This was caused by planned and unplanned shutdowns in the different process units, measurement errors, and high rates of sedimentation, among other things.