A cargo of Iranian condensate destined for Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA, the fourth delivery this year, will unload in the coming days at the country’s main oil port, a Venezuelan lawmaker said Thursday.
Iran last year began supplying PDVSA with condensate used to make the South American nation’s extra-heavy oil exportable. This year, PDVSA and the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) signed a swap agreement that formalized the exchange of Venezuelan crude for Iranian condensate.
The exchanges, which come amid U.S. sanctions on both nations and their oil industries, have allowed PDVSA to increase crude production this season to levels close to those of the early 2020s.
“Two million barrels of diluent have just arrived – from where? – From Iran,” said Angel Rodriguez, a lawmaker from President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist party. “This shows what the country’s situation is. We are forced to receive products that we used to make because of the blockade,” he added, referring to U.S. sanctions.
Washington imposed trade sanctions on PDVSA and its subsidiaries in 2019, the measures banned exports to the United States, which used to buy most of Venezuela’s crude.
PDVSA has adapted to the measures by seeking new customers, ways to ship its crude and refined products to countries such as China.
This year, Iran has supplied some 4.8 million barrels of condensate to PDVSA and its joint ventures and has also supplied gasoline. In return, it has received at least 5.8 million barrels of Venezuela’s Merey 16 heavy crude and jet fuel.