Summary: What is with Curacao and its gasoline?

Are you wondering what’s so significant about Curacao gasoline? Well for one, it was basically the reason why Curacao’s economy boomed. If you think tourism is Curacao’s major economy booster, think again. Unknown to most, Curacao’s oil is actually its biggest source of income.

How did the production of Curacao gasoline start?

Oil was discovered around 1920 in the Venezuelan Lake of Maracaibo. Along with Aruba, Curacao began processing crude oil for Venezuela. The Royal Dutch Shell Refinery provided the biggest source of employment in Curacao. It encouraged immigrants to flock to Curacao because of job opportunities in this oil refinery.

World War II made the oil industry in Curacao thrive even more. Its refineries, along with those of Aruba, supplied the fuel demand of the Allied forces in North Africa, making them vulnerable military targets. American soldiers were placed under the command of the Royal Dutch Navy and the Antilles troops.

A lesser demand in oil around 1985 made Shell close its refinery and sell it to the local government. In turn, Curacao had it leased to PDVSA, a Venezuelan oil company owned by the state. So two days after closing down the refinery, it opened under PDVSA.

Currently, Curacao Isla refinery refines about 200,000 barrels of crude oil daily, making its production more than 320,000 barrels a day. Central America and the Caribbean islands get about half of Curacao gasoline production. The United States and Canada is being sold around 15% of it, as well as South America. The remainder of which is sold locally and in the neighbor Bonaire.

While there are locals who are against these oil refineries that produce the much coveted Curacao gasoline, they are undeniably the foundation of Curacao’s economy. Providing a vast number of employment opportunities for locals and immigrants alike, these refineries serve as the major source of Curacao gasoline for many places.

Some residents would rather have tourism as the biggest source of Curacao’s income. They believe that the richness of culture, the well-maintained tropical ambiance, the awesome historic structures and the friendly people will draw enough attention to make considerable profit for Curacao.

It is a known fact however, that Curacao gasoline is bringing in more money than its tourism. Working hand in hand would be most effective in order to settle these issues. Pollution control in these refineries should be carefully monitored by the government to ensure that tourism will continue to work for Curacao as well.
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