Venezuela and Iran defied U.S.
sanctions with Iranian oil commerce
Iranian tanker fortune bound to Venezuela
- An Iran-flagged tanker is loading Venezuelan crude oil
- Tehran has supplied food and gasoline as cooperation thrives
By Lucia Kassai/Bloomberg
Petroleumworld 09 23 2020
After defying U.S. sanctions by shipping its first cargo of oil to Venezuela just last week, Iran is using the same ship to help the Latin American country export crude.
The Iran-flagged supertanker Honey, also known as Horse, is loading Venezuela's top exported grade Merey 16 at Venezuela's government-controlled port of Jose, according to a shipping report seen by Bloomberg. The shipments offer some relief to the nation's hobbled oil industry, as most shipowners and oil traders shun business with the country for fear of sanctions.
The vessel, which just discharged 2 million barrels of Iranian condensate , turned off its satellite en route to South America after the U.S. intercepted 1.116 million barrels of gasoline going to Venezuela in August. Bloomberg reported last week that the ship was discharging its contents in Venezuela though ship-tracking signals still show the ship off the coast of Dubai.
Venezuela, owner of the world's largest oil reserves, has been struggling to find ships willing to risk sanctions after the Trump administration announced sanctions on six vessels and its shipowners for transporting its crude. The Treasury Department eventually removed the vessels from the sanctions list without making a formal explanation but the U.S. has pursued foreign vessels carrying product to Venezuela around the world.
The cargo on board of the Horse is expected to be sold in Asia, the main destination of Venezuelan crude.
In addition to supplying condensate, Tehran has supplied 1.5 million barrels of gasoline and food. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is also weighing the purchase of Iranian missiles. Caracas has supplied gold as payment for the assistance.
Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA declined to comment. Venezuela's information ministry and the U.S. State Department didn't return an email seeking comment.
— With assistance by Fabiola Zerpa, and Stephen Cunningham
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