Iran helps Venezuela export its oil: Bloomberg

September 23, 2020 - 19:38

TEHRAN – An Iranian supertanker, which has delivered a cargo of oil condensate to Venezuela last week in defiance of U.S. sanctions, is now loading Venezuelan oil to export it, Bloomberg reported.

Citing a shipping report, Bloomberg said, “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.”

Iran and Venezuela, two OPEC nations under U.S. sanctions, have made efforts to boost their oil trade despite U.S. sanctions. In May, Iran sent five oil tankers carrying fuel for Venezuela. The much-needed fuel cargo was delivered to Venezuela over the objections of the U.S., which sought to prevent the oil trade between the two sanctioned countries with no success.

In August, the U.S. claimed that it intercepted 1.116 million barrels of gasoline going from Iran to Venezuela. In July, the United States also claimed that it seized over 1 million barrels of Iranian fuel bound for Venezuela, a claim Iran strongly denied.

Last week, foreign news media outlets broke the news that Iran is shipping fuel to the Latin American country once again. The vessel, which is deemed to have discharged 2 million barrels of Iranian condensate, was still in Venezuela to load Venezuelan oil.

Bloomberg reported that the ship was discharging its contents in Venezuela last week though ship-tracking signals still show the ship off the coast of Dubai.

It’s not clear yet where the Venezuelan oil on board of the Iranian supertanker would be sold. Bloomberg said the cargo is expected to be sold in Asia, the main destination of Venezuelan crude.

However, a Reuters report said Venezuela’s state-run oil company PDVSA is selling the oil to Iran's national oil company.

“The Iranian-flagged very large crude carrier (VLCC) arrived in Venezuela’s main oil port of Jose this month carrying 2.1 million barrels of Iranian condensate to be used as diluent for Venezuela’s extra heavy oil production, according to company documents. The tanker is now due to transport up to 2 million barrels of Venezuela’s heavy Merey 16 crude on its way back, in a sale agreed by PDVSA and the state-owned National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC),” Reuters reported late on Tuesday.