Tanker carrying Iranian oil arrives in Venezuelan waters: Reports
Reports show that an Iran-flagged oil tanker arrived on Sunday in an anchorage area near Venezuela's Amuay port.
A shipping report revealed that a tanker carrying about 1 million barrels of Iranian heavy crude has recently arrived in Venezuelan waters "for delivery to the country's largest refinery," Reuters reported on Monday.
Owned and operated by the National Iranian Tanker Company, the Iran-flagged Suezmax tanker Silvia I, arrived on Sunday in "an anchorage area near Venezuela's Amuay port, which serves the 645,000-barrel-per-day refinery," Reuters revealed.
According to the monitoring service TankerTrackers.com, the ship was seen on satellite days earlier near Venezuela's largest port, the Jose terminal.
Citing Refinitiv Eikon monitoring data, Reuters said that "the vessel departed in early April from Khor Fakkan, on the Gulf of Oman, and switched off its transponder when navigating near the Cape of Good Hope towards the Atlantic Ocean."
Venezuela "urgently needs to ramp up fuel production to avoid another gasoline and diesel crisis as the ones seen in recent years, which left long lines of cars and delivery trucks waiting in front of stations," Reuters reported.
This is not the first time Iran and Venezuela overcome harsh US sanctions imposed on them. In fact, in early February, an Iranian supertanker carrying more than 2 million barrels of condensate landed at a Venezuelan port in the first condensate cargo delivered as part of a partnership between the two countries.
The ship carried 2.1 million barrels of a very light kind of oil that Venezuela's state-owned business uses to dilute its heavy crude oil into an exportable blend, according to Samir Madani, co-founder of TankerTrackers.com.
Memorandum of understanding
It is noteworthy that Tehran and Caracas have recently "expanded a swap agreement signed last year, adding the supply of Iranian heavy crude to Venezuela's El Palito refinery and Paraguana Refining Center (CRP)," the news agency mentioned.
In late February, Iran and Venezuela inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to enhance cooperation in many areas of the oil business.
The MoU was signed by then-Iranian Oil Minister Ali Akbar Salehi and Venezuelan Foreign Minister Felix Plasencia Gonzalez, on the sidelines of the 6th Summit of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), which was held in Doha at the time.
The agreement includes a wide range of topics, including technical services cooperation, technology transfer, training, and educational services, and cooperation in the growth of the refining industry.
The two nations have been subjected to harsh unilateral US sanctions that have taken a toll on their economies. Washington did not even lift its sanctions during the pandemic, terribly affecting Tehran and Caracas' ability to combat Covid-19.