Nicolas Maduro News

04 Nov 2019

Vens Pledge Funds for Argentine Shipyard to Finish PDVSA Tankers

File Image: The M/T PROTEO, a PDVSA tanker in dry dock. CREDIT: MarineTraffic.com

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Sunday pledged funds for a state-owned Argentine shipyard to finish building two long- overdue tankers for state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela, which is struggling with a diminished tanker fleet.Maduro, a socialist who has overseen a drastic economic collapse in the once-prosperous OPEC nation and stands accused of corruption and human rights violations, did not say how much money Venezuela would provide or when it would be disbursed.But…

08 Oct 2019

Disruptions to Global Shipping Industry Explained

AdobeStock / © Kasto

Oil shipping rates are soaring following a series of sanctions on a Chinese transportation giant and limitations placed on movement of Venezuelan crude oil tankers.WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO SHIPPING RATES?The cost of chartering a supertanker to send crude oil from one country to another is rising sharply. A South Korean importer paid more than $12 million in shipping costs for one crude shipment from the U.S. Gulf Coast. This was followed by Friday's tentative charter of another crude…

24 Sep 2019

U.S. Slaps Sanctions on Firms Moving Venezuelan Oil to Cuba

© Marit / Adobe Stock

The U.S. Treasury Department on Tuesday imposed sanctions on four maritime firms and vessels transporting Venezuelan oil to Cuba, amid an acute fuel scarcity in the island that is forcing people to line up for gasoline and public transport.Despite tough U.S. measures against Venezuela's state-owned oil company PDVSA in January, Cuba's state-run oil import and export company Cubametales and other Cuba-based entities "have continued to circumvent sanctions by receiving oil shipments from Venezuela…

20 Aug 2019

Fire Hits PDVSA Tanker at Amuay Bay

The Motor Tanker PROTEO (Credit MarineTraffic.Com © Erazo)

A fire swept through the engine room of a tanker owned by Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA on Monday while it was anchored at Amuay Bay near the country's largest refinery, three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.The extent of the damage to the Panama-flagged Aframax tanker Proteo was not immediately clear. But it highlighted the poor state of much of the fleet belonging to PDV Marina, PDVSA's shipping subsidiary, at a time when U.S. sanctions are complicating its ability to lease vessels from third parties.Even before this fire…

16 Aug 2019

Ships from Venezuela can still transit Panama Canal

© vintagepix/AdobeStock

The Panama Canal will allow vessels coming from Venezuela to transit the waterway provided they present the necessary paperwork, the canal authority's chief said on Wednesday, suggesting a new round of U.S. sanctions on the South American country may not make any difference to canal traffic.President Donald Trump's administration last week issued an executive order freezing all Venezuelan government assets in the United States. Shortly thereafter, U.S. officials ratcheted up threats against companies that do business with Venezuela.The measure did not explicitly place sanctions on non-U.S.

26 Jun 2019

U.S. Court to Decide Who Will Control Citgo

AdobeStock / © Renaschild

A U.S. court will decide whether a board of directors appointed by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro or one backed by his rival, opposition leader Juan Guaido, runs the eighth-largest U.S. refiner, Citgo Petroleum Corp.A lawsuit filed by Maduro's representatives on Tuesday in Delaware Chancery Court seeks to reassert control over Citgo , along with other U.S. subsidiaries of PDVSA , the Venezuelan state-run oil company.Citgo, Venezuela's most important foreign asset, has been caught in a tug-of-war as U.S.

07 May 2019

U.S. to Deploy Hospital Ship to Venezuela

USNS Comfort  (Photo courtesy of MSC)

As tensions with Venezuela mount, the United States is planning to announce on Tuesday the deployment of a military hospital ship to the region, U.S. officials say, in the latest sign of the Pentagon's limited, and targeted, involvement in the crisis.The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, did not specify where in the region the ship would travel to. Last year, a hospital ship -- the USNS Comfort -- cared for Venezuelan refugees and others as it stopped in Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and Honduras.The U.S. military's Southern Command, which oversees U.S.

26 Apr 2019

UNHCR: 21 Venezuelans Missing after Caribbean Capsizing

At least 21 Venezuelans were missing after their boat sank on the way to the Caribbean island nation of Trinidad and Tobago, the U.N. refugee agency said on Friday, citing information from that country's coast guard.The boat, the “Jhonnaly Jose”, was carrying at least 25 people from the Venezuelan coastal town of Guiria when it capsized in the early hours of Wednesday, UNHCR spokesman Babar Baloch told a regular U.N. briefing in Geneva."This tragic incident highlights the extreme risks of sea journeys and other irregular cross-border movements undertaken by refugees and migrants.

12 Apr 2019

U.S. Sanctions Firms, Ships for PDVSA Cargoes

The United States on Friday announced more sanctions on shipping companies transporting oil from Venezuela, blacklisting four shipping companies and nine vessels, some of which the U.S. Treasury Department said carried oil to Cuba.The U.S. Treasury identified the firms as Liberia-based Jennifer Navigation Ltd, Lima Shipping Corp and Large Range Ltd, and Italy-based PB Tankers S.P.A.It blacklisted one tanker belonging to each of the Liberian firms and six owned by the Italian firm.A Treasury statement said Venezuela’s oil sector continued "to provide a lifeline to the illegitimate regime" of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.“We continue to target companies that transport Venezuelan oil to Cuba…

26 Mar 2019

PDVSA Oil Port Paralyzed by Another Blackout

Venezuela's main oil export port of Jose and the country's four crude upgraders have been unable to resume operations following a massive power blackout on Monday, according to industry workers and a union leader close to the facilities.The most recent oil shipment for export, on the carrier Dragon chartered by Russia's Rosneft, left Jose, which is owned by state-run PDVSA, on March 24, according to Refinitiv Eikon vessel-tracking data and PDVSA's trade documents."There is no electricity, everything is paralyzed," oil workers' union leader Jose Bodas told Reuters on Tuesday.The blackout, Venezuela's second major power outage in a month…

15 Mar 2019

McQuilling ends tanker contracts with PDVSA

File Image / CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Kasto

A second maritime firm has told Venezuela's state-run oil firm Petroleos de Venezuela it would end all charter contracts with the company as a result of U.S. sanctions, according to an internal document and a person familiar with the matter.U.S.-based McQuilling Partners Inc, which provided PDVSA with four contract tankers, joined German tanker operator Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM) in withdrawing from providing oil-shipping services to Venezuela.The United States levied…

14 Mar 2019

BSM: PDVSA Tanker Management Likely Ending

file Image: an idled PDVSA tanker (CREDIT: MarineTraffic.com / © Leslie Brug

Maritime contractor Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM) is considering to stop managing Venezuelan state-oil company PDVSA's tankers by the end of this month or in April following U.S. sanctions against the country, BSM said on Thursday.It also said in a statement that recent political developments made managing assets for the Venezuelan government "an almost impossible task", and it was working on returning Venezuelan vessels to PDVSA's maritime arm PDV Marina and its subsidiaries.The German firm…

24 Dec 2018

Venezuela Navy Confronts Exxon Vessel in Guyana Border Dispute

File Image: CREDIT: AdobeStock / © DonvictoriO

Venezuela's navy "intercepted" a ship exploring for oil on behalf of Exxon Mobil Corp in Guyanese waters over the weekend, Guyana's foreign ministry said in a statement, while neighboring Venezuela said the incident occurred within its territory.The latest incident in a century-old border dispute comes after a series of offshore oil discoveries have given Guyana the potential to become one of Latin America's largest producers. In OPEC member Venezuela, by contrast, crude output has tumbled to the lowest levels in nearly 70 years amid an economic crisis.The Ramform Tethys vessel…

26 Dec 2018

Soldier-run PDVSA and AWOL Oil Output

© natanaelginting/Adobe Stock

Last July 6, Major General Manuel Quevedo joined his wife, a Catholic priest and a gathering of oil workers in prayer in a conference room at the headquarters of Petroleos de Venezuela SA, or PDVSA.The career military officer, who for the past year has been boss at the troubled state-owned oil company, was at no ordinary mass. The gathering, rather, was a ceremony at which he and other senior oil ministry officials asked God to boost oil output."This place of peace and spirituality…

04 Feb 2019

Tankers with Venezuelan Oil Collect off US

© Igor Groshev / Adobe Stock

A flotilla loaded with about 7 million barrels of Venezuelan oil has formed in the Gulf of Mexico, some holding cargoes bought ahead of the latest U.S. sanctions on Venezuela and others whose buyers are weighing who to pay, according to traders, shippers and Refinitiv Eikon data.The Trump administration's move to impose sanctions last week was meant to undercut support for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro by targeting the Latin American nation's oil exports to the United States, the source of most of its foreign revenue.The sanctions aim to block U.S.

12 Jul 2018

US Oil Exports to India Soar Ahead of Iran Sanctions

© Anatoly Menzhiliy / Adobe Stock

U.S. crude oil exports to India hit a record in June and so far this year are almost double last year's total as the Asian nation's refiners move to replace supplies from Iran and Venezuela in a win for the Trump administration.U.S. President Donald Trump's administration has been pressuring its allies to cut imports of Iranian goods to zero by November and India's shift advances the U.S. administration efforts to use energy to further its political goals.The United States has become a major crude exporter…

24 Sep 2018

China Navy Ship Makes Maiden Visit to Venezuela

File photo: China's Peace Ark in 2014 (U.S. Navy photo by Shannon Renfroe)

A Chinese naval ship has traveled to Venezuela for the first time, following a visit by President Nicolas Maduro to Beijing this month, where he had been looking to gain China's support for the Latin American nation's struggling economy.The naval medical ship, known as the "Peace Ark", arrived on Saturday at the Venezuelan port of La Guaira for an eight-day period of "friendly visits" to the country, the official Xinhua news agency said on Sunday.Maduro, whose leftist government is under fire in Venezuela as the economy struggles with a fifth year of recession and hyperinflation…

11 Jan 2019

Exxon Ships Have Not Returned to Disputed Area off Guyana

© Zerophoto / Adobe Stock

Seismic research vessels hired by Exxon Mobil to explore for oil off Guyana's coast have not returned to the site of a December incident with Venezuela's navy, but they may in the future, Guyana's foreign minister said on Thursday.Guyana, with no history of oil production, has become the focus of intense interest since Exxon announced the discovery of over 5 billion barrels of oil and gas off its shores. That has reignited a century-old territorial dispute with neighboring Venezuela.

06 Jun 2018

PDVSA Raises Prospect of Force Majeure on Oil Exports

© Igor Groshev / Adobe Stock

OPEC member Venezuela has raised the prospect of declaring force majeure on contracts with major crude buyers amid plummeting output from its oil fields and tanker bottlenecks at ports, according to three sources familiar with the matter.Falling production from Venezuela has contributed to a rally in global oil prices to a near four-year high, and other OPEC members may boost output at a meeting later this month to compensate for the shortfall and other risks to global supplies.Oil is the financial lifeline for the embattled socialist government of President Nicolas Maduro…

03 Feb 2019

Venezuela Sanctions to Boost VLCCs

Pic: Drewry Shipping Consultants Limited

US sanctions on Venezuela are likely to change the pattern of crude tanker trade, with long-haul trade replacing the short-haul trade, said Drewry. While the prospective change in trade pattern will favour VLCCs, it will work against Aframaxes.The US government has imposed sanctions against Venezuela’s state-owned energy company Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) in order to choke Venezuelan oil revenues and oust Nicolas Maduro, the Venezuelan president.According to Drewry, the sanctions…

07 Mar 2019

PDVSA Insists it's Still Working with BSM

The Icaro (© Leslie Brug / MarineTraffic.com)

Venezuela's state-run oil company PDVSA said on Thursday it has not halted business with maritime firm Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM), even after the German firm said it would remove the crews that have been operating 10 of 15 PDVSA vessels over unpaid fees and return the tankers.On Tuesday, PDVSA's maritime arm PDV Marina declared an emergency due to lack of staff to immediately receive the 10 vessels BSM proposed to return to Venezuelan ports due to unpaid bills of at…

24 Dec 2018

Venezuela Navy intercepts ExxonMobil Oil Explore Ship

The Venezuela's navy on Saturday "intercepted" a ship exploring for oil on behalf of Exxon Mobil Corp. in Guyanese waters, neighboring Guyana's foreign ministry said in a statement, in the latest incident in a century-old border dispute.A series of offshore oil discoveries in recent years have given Guyana the potential to become one of Latin America's largest producers. In OPEC member Venezuela, by contrast, crude output has tumbled to its lowest levels in nearly 70 years amid an economic crisis.The Ramform Tethys vessel, which belongs to Norwegian company Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS) and was conducting seismic survey work on behalf of Exxon…

19 Feb 2019

Vens Close Maritime Border with Dutch Antilles

Venezuelan authorities have closed the maritime border with the Dutch Antilles, a regional navy chief told Reuters on Tuesday, preventing boats and aircraft from arriving from the islands of Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire.Vice Admiral Quintero Martinez did not give a reason for the closure, though Venezuela's opposition have said they plan to bring humanitarian aid into the country from Curacao on Saturday, which President Nicolas Maduro's government has pledged to block.Reporting by Mircely Guanipa

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