Two Iranian tankers have arrived in Venezuela with about 1.22 million barrels of Iranian crude and 2 million barrels of condensate, media reports citing documents from state oil company PDVSA say.
They arrived in Venezuelan waters this month and are about to discharge their cargoes at Venezuela’s Jose terminal in the coming days, they said.
One of the tankers has been identified as very large crude carrier (VLCC) Huge, operated by National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC).
The two countries have ramped up trade in the face of US sanctions. Earlier this year, the Naftiran Intertrade Company Ltd and other state companies signed a 110-million-euro contract with PDVSA to revamp a Venezuelan refinery and supply oil to the firm.
PDVSA relies on Iran’s South Pars condensate to convert its heavy oil to exportable grades. Iranian crude oil is also refined in the South American country to produce motor fuels.
Iran’s condensate shipments under a swap deal signed in the second half of last year have helped Venezuelan PDVSA sustain its oil output which had been severely paralyzed under the US sanctions.
PDVSA’s swap contract with the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) provides it with a steady supply of condensate, a high-value light crude, as a diluent.
The bituminous crude from the Orinoco Belt, Venezuela’s largest producing region, requires mixing before it can be transported and exported.
Venezuela imported 2 million barrels of Iranian condensate in 2020 and 4.6 million barrels in 2021, snubbing US oil sanctions on the country.
The two countries have also exchanged Iranian gasoline for Venezuelan jet fuel under an agreement signed in 2020 which marked thousands of Venezuelans queuing up in miles-long lines to try to fill their cars with motor fuel.
Iran’s supply of condensate helps Venezuela stabilize exports of the Orinoco’s crude blends and allows its own lighter oil to be refined in the country to produce badly needed motor fuel.
By PRESS TV