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Oil tanker owners command premiums to supply Venezuela


By Argus

Petroleumworld 03 07 2019

A limited list of product tanker operators willing to move refined product cargoes to Venezuela are commanding premium rates to supply the country from non-US sources.

US sanctions in late January against Venezuela's state owned PdV, allied with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, have halted US-Venezuela gasoline and naphtha movements and caused PdV to secure supply from alternate sources, particularly Europe, to plug the gap.

But the transportation costs of getting those cargoes to Venezuela are coming at premiums. Shipowners face a host of potential problems that come with taking oil cargoes to Venezuela, including the risk of violating evolving US sanctions, infrastructure malfunction at Venezuelan ports, vessel seizure, and crime at Venezuelan ports. At least one major product tanker owner has stopped including Venezuela as a discharge option for its fixtures.

For some shipowners the risk is worth it. Danish shipping firm Torm has leased out at least two of its medium range (MR) tankers to carry refined products, likely gasoline or naphtha, to Venezuela for Spanish oil company Repsol.

The Torm Laura , one of the two MRs, was booked with a Venezuela discharge option at a $3/t premium to market level, and is waiting in north Spain to load. Torm did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Greek shipowner Thenamaris chartered out the Seamuse , one of its MRs tankers, to load a Venezuela-bound gasoline cargo in the Netherlands for Vitol, also at a premium rate. The tanker departed Ijmuiden, Netherlands on 4 March.

Other Venezuela-bound fixtures include the Aframax Abliani , which is operated by Greece-based Eastern Mediterranean Maritime according to a US shipbroker, and the long range 1 (LR1) Serengeti , operated by Dynacom Tankers Management, another Greek company. The Abliani is under charter by Russian state-controlled Rosneft to carry a roughly 775,000 bl refined products cargo from Europe to Venezuela, and is waiting in Rotterdam to load.

The Serengeti departed the eastern Mediterranean with 540,000 bl of naphtha on 19 February for Prime International, a Rosneft joint venture.




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