Tankers carrying 1.22M barrels of Iranian crude arrive in Venezuela
The two tankers are scheduled to discharge their cargoes at Venezuela's Jose terminal in the coming days.
Two Iran-flagged tankers carrying about 1.22 million barrels of crude and 2 million barrels of condensate from the Middle Eastern country arrived in Venezuelan waters over the weekend, according to a shipping document by the state oil company PDVSA.
The two tankers arrived in Venezuelan waters earlier this month and are scheduled to discharge their cargoes at Venezuela's Jose terminal in the coming days.
One of the tankers has been identified as Huge, a very large crude carrier (VLCC) operated by the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC).
It is worth noting that Venezuela and Iran have lately increased trade in defiance of US sanctions since 2020, sending fuel to Venezuela and helping in refinery repairs.
Naftiran Intertrade Company Ltd and other state-owned enterprises inked around a $100 million contract with PDVSA earlier this year to renovate a Venezuelan refinery and supply the company with oil.
PDVSA relies on Iranian South Pars condensate to convert its heavy oil to exportable grades. Iranian crude oil is also refined into motor fuel in South America.
Despite US draconian oil sanctions, Venezuela imported 2 million barrels of Iranian condensate in 2020 and 4.6 million barrels in 2021.
The two countries exchanged Iranian gasoline for Venezuelan jet fuel under an agreement signed in 2020.
Iran's supply of condensate helps Venezuela stabilize exports of Orinoco crude blends and allows the country to refine its own lighter oil to produce much-needed motor fuel.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro arrived in Tehran last June as part of his international tour.
Previously, in May, Iranian Oil Minister Javad Oji made an official visit to Venezuela, noting that the latter had the largest proven reserves of crude oil in the world. Oji discussed with Venezuelan Oil Minister Tariq El-Aissami ways to bypass sanctions imposed by the US on the two countries.
Read more: Maduro, Iranian oil minister stress development of energy ties
Historically, the two countries have had friendly and strong relations, especially during the era of the late socialist leader Hugo Chavez (1999-2013), which were further strengthened during the era of his successor.