VENEZUELA: PDVESA evades confiscation of assets with transfers at sea


PDVESA evades confiscation: Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA has limited the damage caused by an unprecedented fall in crude oil exports through the transfer of oil between oil tankers at sea.

Thus, Venezuela continues to comply with less than 60 percent of its obligations under the supply agreements with customers.

PDVSA’s problems worsened in May when US oil company ConocoPhillips began to confiscate PDVSA assets in the Caribbean as payment for an arbitration award of $ 2 billion.

The confiscations left PDVSA without access to facilities such as the Isla refinery in Curaçao and the BOPEC terminal in Bonaire, which accounted for almost a quarter of the company’s oil exports.

Conoco’s shares also forced PDVSA to stop sending oil on its own vessels to terminals in the Caribbean, and then to refineries around the world, to avoid the risk of cargo being seized in international waters or foreign ports. .

PDVSA asked customers to charter oil tankers in Venezuelan waters and load from the company’s own terminals or from anchored PDVSA vessels that act as floating storage units.

The state company told some customers in early June that it could impose force majeure, a temporary suspension of export contracts, unless they accepted such transfers from ship to ship.

PDVSA has managed to export around 1.3 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil since the beginning of July, compared to only 765,000 bpd in the first half of June, according to Thomson Reuters data and internal shipments of PDVSA that Reuters saw.

This week, about two dozen tankers expected to load more than 22 million barrels of crude and refined products into the country’s largest ports, according to Reuters data.

Source MarineLink
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