An oil tanker sails on Lake Maracaibo, in Cabimas, Venezuela October 14, 2022. REUTERS/Issac Urrutia/File Photo

Chevron-Chartered Tanker Involved in Minor Collision in Venezuela

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March 20, 2023

HOUSTON, March 20 (Reuters) – A Liberia-flagged oil tanker chartered by Chevron Corp had a minor collision with another vessel, the Bueno, in Venezuelan waters on Sunday, according to sources and a shipping report seen by Reuters on Monday.

The Bueno has not navigated international waters since the U.S. Treasury Department last year imposed sanctions on it and four other vessels for alleged involvement in moving Iranian origin shipments, which led to the loss of its Djibouti flag.

Chevron-chartered tanker Kerala, which is scheduled to load about 240,000 barrels of Venezuelan heavy oil at the Bajo Grande terminal at Lake Maracaibo this week, was near the Amuay ship-to-ship transfer area on Sunday night when it collided with the Bueno.

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Incidents involving vessels, oil spills, fires and power outages are very frequent in Venezuela as state-run PDVSA’s aging oil infrastructure does not receive proper maintenance and needed repairs amid U.S. sanctions on the country.

Neither tanker was significantly damaged by the incident and no injuries or spills reported. Both were told by the port captain to anchor in specific positions and await inspections, according to a PDVSA shipping report. 

PDVSA and Chevron did not immediately reply to requests for comment. 

Tanker Bueno has been working for PDVSA since last year, moving oil and fuel between domestic ports under a time-charter contract. 

As of Monday, the Kerala had moved away from the collision site while waiting for a loading window at the Bajo Grande terminal, according to Refinitiv Eikon vessel monitoring data. The Bueno’s transponder has not signaled since mid-2022.

(Reporting by Marianna Parraga; Editing by Jan Harvey)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2023.

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