Iranian condensate cargo begins discharging in Venezuela -sources

28 September, 2021
Source: Reuters

A 2.1-million barrel cargo of condensate supplied by Iranian National Oil Company (NIOC) to Venezuela's PDVSA, the first of a swap deal between the state-run firms, began discharging this week, according to two sources and tanker tracking data.

PDVSA and NIOC have agreed to a medium-term contract to exchange Venezuelan heavy crude for Iranian condensate in a pact aimed at boosting the South American nation’s sagging oil exports, amid sanctions imposed by the United States.

The agreement is expected to regularize the flow of blending material for producing exportable crude grades from Venezuela’s main oil region, the Orinoco Belt.

The condensate cargo arrived in Venezuelan waters late last week on Iran-flagged very large crude carrier (VLCC) Dino I, owned and operated by a unit of NIOC, according to the sources and vessel monitoring service

As of Monday, the vessel was discharging at PDVSA’s main oil port, the Jose terminal, said, even though its transponder was showing it on Iran’s coast - a tactic often used by sanctioned oil producers to conceal the location of their fleets.

PDVSA and NIOC did not reply to Reuters questions on the exchange contract.

A second 2.1-million-barrel condensate cargo, contracted under the same swap agreement, is expected to arrive in Venezuelan waters in the coming weeks, the sources said.

The Iran-flagged tanker Dorena, whose transponder also shows it in Iranian waters, is currently underway to Venezuela, said.

The swap contract officially started last week when a 1.9-million barrel cargo of Venezuelan heavy crude set sail from Venezuelan waters on Iranian tanker Felicity, according to sources with knowledge of the deal.

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