& Tobago

Very usefull links


News links




Dow Jones

Oil price



Views and News




US sanctions on PDVSA not putting a stop to Caribbean-upcoast runs



By Barbara Trone, Marieke Alsguth, Catherine Wood / Platts


Petroleumworld 01 31 2019

Dirty tankers carrying Venezuelan crude and refined products to the US are so far unaffected by the US sanctions on state-owned oil company PDVSA as long as tanker charterers, including US refiners and traders, deposit payments for the shipments into blocked accounts located in the US.

According to shipowners, there will be no material change for cargoes on the water until the US declares there will be zero imports from Venezuela.

"Owners may continue to err on the side of caution, however, in doing business there, but for now we see it as business as usual, as long as the charterers use those frozen accounts," a shipowner said.

If owners choose to conduct business in Venezuela, the reliance on charterers following sanction rules could further complicate charter party agreements, with shipping sources still unsure of the specific impacts to operations.

In addition to concerns over operational implications, the Americas dirty tanker market is still uncertain about potential shifts in crude flows following the introduction of the sanctions, however one owner said the sanctions could make crude exports out of Venezuela favorable for Asian buyers in China or Russia for instance.


Clean tankers carrying gasoline blendstocks from Venezuela to upcoast destinations in the US are so far also unaffected in principle.

However, clean tanker sources expect freight costs for vessels loading in Venezuela will increase, and that freight on the Venezuela-US Atlantic Coast route will hold a premium to freight for a vessel loading in the Caribbean outside of Venezuela.

"Charterers and non-US entities can move in and out as long as documentation is in order. Owners will ask for a premium, because they're afraid of getting stuck there for a prolonged term," a shipowner said. "Why bother with other trade lanes?"

Vessel availability, which played a large role on Caribbean-upcoast routes before the imposition of the sanctions, will drive freight costs on the Venezuelan-loading routes, as sources expect many owners will refuse to call at Venezuelan ports.

Market indications for a Venezuelan premium on the Caribbean-USAC route have varied, as the route has been relatively untested since the announcement of the sanctions.

"I heard an owner offering around Worldscale 250 for a Venezuela-US Atlantic coast run," the first shipowner said. The same shipowner indicated freight on the Caribbean-USAC route for a non-Venezuelan load was in a range of w130-w135. A second shipbroker and a charterer indicated freight for a Venezuela-USAC run was w160 Tuesday, while calling around w125 for a non-Venezuela load.


In the dirty tankers sector, data from S&P Global Platts' cFlow trade flow software show four Aframaxes and one Suezmax left Venezuelan crude terminals for ports on the US Gulf Coast Tuesday, one day after the Trump administration unveiled the sanctions.

The Eagle Sapporo and Searover Aframaxes left Jose Terminal and are destined for Corpus Christi, Texas, and Lake Charles, Louisiana, where PDVSA US refining subsidiary Citgo's 157,500 b/d and 418,000 b/d refineries are located. The Aframaxes Hydra and NS Concept left Punto Fijo for Pascagoula, Mississippi and Houston, respectively.

The Suezmax Sonangol Cazenga sailed from Jose Terminal with a destination of Pascagoula, according to cFlow.


Yet clean tankers on the USGC-Venezuela run were impacted as several cargoes of US diluent bound for Venezuela were abruptly halted Tuesday, following the imposition of the sanctions on.

According to a clean tanker owner, up to five such Medium Range vessels were stopped en route to Venezuela.

"Sanctions should only affect the [clean petroleum products] imports, only the diluent naphtha," the shipowner said.

According to S&P Global Platts data, Citgo has placed the Horizon Aphrodite on subjects to load 38,000 mt of refined products for a US Gulf Coast-Venezuela voyage.

Data from cFlow shows the vessel departed Lake Charles Tuesday, and is currently en route to Jose Terminal, but at an unusually slow speed of 1.5 knots. The average steaming speed for a Medium Range tanker is 12-13 knots.

The data also shows the Medium Range tankers BW Thames and Seletar Spirit leaving Houston and Lake Charles Tuesday for Jose Terminal.

Platts fixture logs show the Elka Glory and the Maersk Tacoma on subjects for Citgo on USGC-Venezuela and USGC-Caribbean voyages loading Tuesday and Friday, respectively. The Elka Glory was stationary at the entrance of the Galveston/Texas City ship channel, while the Maersk Tacoma was moored at Corpus Christi on Wednesday


We invite you to join us as a sponsor.

Circulated Videos, Articles, Opinions and Reports which carry your name and brand are used to target Entrepreneurs through our site, promoting your organization’s services. The opportunity is to insert in our stories pages short attention-grabbing videos, or to publish your own feature stories.


Edited by Barbara Trone, Marieke Alsguth, Catherine Wood ; Edited by Keiron Greenhalgh from Platts / SPGlobal.

01 30

Hit your target - Advertise with us

PW 300.000 plus request per week

Copyright© 1999-2019 Petroleumworld or respective author or news agency. All rights reserved.

We welcome the use of Petroleumworld™ (PW) stories by anyone provided it mentions Petroleumworld.com as the source.

Other stories you have to get authorization by its authors. Internet web links to http://www.petroleumworld.com are appreciated.

Petroleumworld welcomes your feedback and comments, share your thoughts on this article, your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us
their views and comments about this article.


Write to editor@petroleumworld.com

By using this link, you agree to allow PW
to publish your comments on our letters page.

Any question or suggestions,
please write to: editor@petroleumworld.com

Best Viewed with IE 5.01+ Windows NT 4.0, '95,
'98,ME,XP, Vista, Windows 7,8,10 +/ 800x600 pixels

Twitter: @petroleumworld1



Contact: editor@petroleumworld.com,

Editor & Publisher: Elio Ohep/
Contact Email: editor@petroleumworld.com

CopyRight © 1999-2019, Paul Ohep F. - All Rights Reserved. Legal Information

PW in Top 100 Energy Sites

CopyRight©1999-2019, Petroleumworld   / Elio Ohep - All rights reservedThis site is a public free site and it contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner.We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of business, environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have chosen to view the included information for research, information, and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission fromPetroleumworld or the copyright owner of the material.