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Venezuelan Crude Departs For Europe

FILE PHOTO: Crude oil tankers are docked at Isla Oil Refinery PDVSA terminal in Willemstad on the island of Curacao, February 22, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Romero/File Photo

Venezuelan Crude Departs For Europe

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February 25, 2023

By Marianna Parraga

HOUSTON, Feb 25 (Reuters) – A 655,000-barrel cargo of Venezuelan heavy crude chartered by a unit of Italy’s Eni SpA ENI.MI departed on Friday from a port operated by state-run PDVSA,shipping data showed, marking Venezuela’s first export to Europe after a three-month pause.

Eni and Spain’s Repsol SA REP.MC last year received U.S. authorizations to take Venezuelan oil to Europe as compensation for outstanding debt in an easing of American sanctions on Venezuela’s oil industry.

But the shipments were allocated intermittently last year. And so far this year most Venezuelan crude exports have been halted during a sweeping audit by new PDVSA boss Pedro Tellechea, who revised contract terms to avoid a series of failed payments by some customers.

Read Also: Venezuela Halts Oil Exports

The Greece-flagged Aframax tanker Minerva Alexandra, which had arrived in Venezuelan waters this month, loaded some 315,000 barrels of Boscan crude and 340,000 barrels of diluted crude oil, according to internal PDVSA shipping documents and Refinitiv Eikon data.

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

The vessel is bound for Repsol’s Cartagena refinery, according to the documents and data, a Spanish facility that has processed Venezuelan heavy crudes in the past. 

Eni received two cargoes of Venezuelan diluted crude in June-July last year and two more shipments in November, according to PDVSA’s documents. The oil has helped Italy and Spain ease a lack of specific crude grades in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and related sanctions.

Another energy firm authorized by the United States to receive and export Venezuelan oil, Chevron Corp CVX.N, is on track to ship more than 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) to the United States this month under a U.S. license issued in November. 

(Reporting by Marianna Parraga; additional reporting by Francesca Landini in Milan; editing by Will Dunham)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2023.

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