Venezuela News

29 Mar 2020

Empty Tankers Depart Venezuela; Sanctions Cancel Cargo

© TexBr/AdobeStock

Three large crude carriers (VLCCs) chartered by units of Russian oil major Rosneft to transport Venezuelan oil left Caribbean waters empty on Saturday after the cargoes were canceled due to sanctions, according to Refinitiv Eikon data and a document from Venezuelan state-run oil firm PDVSA.The vessels - which would jointly export some 5.7 million barrels of Venezuelan heavy crude to Asia - had waited for weeks near Venezuelan waters to load, but the cargoes were canceled this week due to sanctions on PDVSA and Rosneft's trading units…

23 Mar 2020

Coronavirus-related Inspections Delay Venezuelan Oil Exports

© Igor Dashko / MarineTraffic.com

At least two cargoes of Venezuelan crude have been delayed due to health inspections aboard tankers to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, according to an internal document from state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela seen by Reuters.The delays add to a growing glut of tankers loaded with Venezuelan crude that preceded the coronavirus crisis as U.S. sanctions spooked potential customers. With domestic onshore oil inventories approaching capacity, PDVSA has been increasingly…

09 Mar 2020

Venezuelan Detains More than 30 PDVSA Workers

© Henrique Cayolla / MarineTraffic.com

At least 38 workers from Venezuela's state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela’s, including the president of maritime subsidiary PDV Marina, were detained on accusations of trafficking fuel, Venezuelan Interior Minister Nestor Reverol said on Saturday, describing the accusations as "treason."The move comes just days after other state officials were detained and amid a shakeup at PDVSA after President Nicolas Maduro last month named a committee to restructure the OPEC nation’s oil industry, which is struggling under U.S.

02 Mar 2020

Sailor Dies on Tanker Moored off Venezuela

© Gena Anfimov / MarineTraffic.com

A sailor aboard an oil tanker anchored off Venezuela's coast died on Saturday, three people with knowledge of the incident said, marking the second death in less than a week involving personnel aboard ships serving the crisis-stricken OPEC nation.Juan Carlos Navarrete, a 58-year-old Cuban national serving as a helmsman aboard the Petion Panamax tanker, died after falling overboard while the tanker was anchored in Amuay Bay in western Venezuela, one of the sources, union leader Ivan Freites…

28 Feb 2020

Citgo: Oil Tanker Caught in Dispute Enters International Waters

© Iza Jaglinska / MarineTraffic.com

U.S. refiner Citgo said the Gerd Knutsen oil tanker, which had been carrying crude claimed by both the company and Venezuelan parent PDVSA, departed Venezuela's Jose Terminal on Thursday and entered international waters on Friday morning.The tanker over the past week discharged its 1 million barrel cargo, worth some $57 million, in Venezuela after being stranded for over a year off the South American country's coast amid fallout over U.S. sanctions on PDVSA, designed to force out socialist President Nicolas Maduro.The tanker discharged after Citgo…

17 Jan 2020

US Refiners Grab HSFO on Back of IMO 2020

© Fotos von Schiffen / Adobe Stock

U.S. refiners are scooping up cheap high-sulfur fuel oil for processing from Russia and the Baltic states as they take advantage of new shipping rules that have cut demand for the dirtier marine fuel, according to oil traders and shipping data.U.S. refiners Valero Corp, Chevron Corp and Phillips 66 have been buying HSFO, traders said, taking advantage of their complex operations to turn HSFO blended with crude oils into products like diesel, gasoil and gasoline.This month, 2.2 million tonnes of fuel oil…

03 Jan 2020

Venezuela Alters Oil Royalty Formulas, Driven by IMO 2020

© Parilov / Adobe Stock

Venezuela has changed the formulas for calculating royalties energy companies pay the government to remove references to fuel oil and some crude grades, driven by stricter rules governing marine fuel emissions, according to a document seen by Reuters.A ban by the United Nations shipping agency, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), on the use of fuels with a sulfur content above 0.5%, aimed at reducing pollution, has roiled oil markets and caused price volatility for…

31 Dec 2019

Brazilian Beaches Hit by Second Oil Spill

© Arun Roisri / Adobe Stock

Crude oil smudges have been spotted at some Brazilian beaches in the northeast state of Ceará, the country's navy said on Monday, almost two months after the area was hit by another oil slick.That was part of a broader spill, whose origin remains a mystery, that stained hundreds of beaches on Brazil's northeast coast between September and November, threatening marine life, tourism and fishing.The navy said samples of the new spill were being sent for analysis to a marine studies institute…

03 Dec 2019

U.S. Blacklists Six Oil Tankers in New Venezuela-Related Sanctions

© Parilov / Adobe Stock

The Trump administration on Tuesday blacklisted six oil tankers involved in the shipment of Venezuelan oil to Cuba, the latest in a series of sanctions aimed at pressuring Havana to abandon its support for socialist Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.Six vessels belonging to state-run oil company Petróleos de Venezuela SA, or PDVSA, were targeted, according to a statement from the U.S. Treasury Department."Cuba and the former Maduro regime continue trying to circumvent sanctions by changing the names of vessels and facilitating the movement of oil from Venezuela to Cuba…

27 Nov 2019

Training for L. American Maritime Leaders

Pic: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

A regional workshop organized by International Maritime Organization (IMO) has provided senior maritime administration officials in Latin America with the latest information on current and future developments at the Organization.The workshop for the regional maritime authorities networks, ROCRAM and ROCRAM-CA was held at IMO Headquarters in London (26 November) in the margin of the 31st IMO Assembly.The 28 participants received detailed information about the activities within…

25 Nov 2019

BIMCO: Tanker Shipping and Macroeconomics Outlook

Source: BIMCO, WTO

World growth and trade volumes under pressure, but still positive. A continued slowdown in global growth, as well as a lower trade multiplier will reduce overall demand for shipping for the rest of this year and through 2020.Expectations for global trade growth have also been lowered for 2020; this is now forecast at 2.7%, down from 3%. The WTO cautions that risks to these forecasts are weighted to the downside, with these risks including a potential deepening of trade tensions…

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…

01 Nov 2019

Brazil Targets Greek Tanker in Pollution Probe

BOUBOULINA / CREDIT: MarineTraffic.Com / © Leo Noordzij

Brazilian investigators said on Friday a Greek-flagged ship carrying Venezuelan crude was the source of oil tarring thousands of kilometers of coastline over the past two months.While prosecutors and police did not name the vessel, a prosecutors' document obtained by Reuters identified the ship as the Bouboulina, owned by Greece's Delta Tankers Ltd. Police said the tanker appears to have spilled the crude about 700 km (420 miles) off Brazil's coast between July 28-29, bound for…

01 Nov 2019

Brazil Federal Police Investigate Greek Ship in Connection with Oil Spill

Brazil's federal police on Friday announced a potential breakthrough in the investigation into the causes of a mysterious oil spill that has baffled authorities and Brazilians for about two months.Police said they were investigating a Greek-flagged ship allegedly responsible for the oil spill, which they claim may have occurred about 700 km (420 miles) off the Brazilian coast between July 28-29 after the vessel made a stop in Venezuela.In a statement, federal police said they were carrying out search warrants at addresses linked to a company of Greek nationality.Brazilian authorities said they had also requested cooperation from international agencies…

23 Oct 2019

Oil Stockpiling Builds Ahead of IMO 2020 Rules

EXXON's Rotterdam Refinery (CREDIT: EXXON)

S-Oil, South Korea's third-largest refiner, said on Wednesday that regional refining margins are expected to improve in the fourth quarter on the back of inventory build-up ahead of implementation of stricter rules on marine fuels in 2020.The refiner, whose top shareholder is Saudi Aramco, said in an earnings statement, strong demand for heating oil was also expected to support refining margins, along with the International Maritime Organization (IMO)'s stricter shipping fuel…

18 Oct 2019

Exxon, Trafigura Tap Lower Freight Rates

A VLCC loads crude oil in the port of Corpus Christi, TX (File image / credit Port of Corpus Christi)

U.S. crude exports to Asia, which have slumped due to record freight costs, stirred on Thursday as rates slid and the premium in Asia for Russia's ESPO Blend oil sent buyers back to U.S. grades, according to market sources.Oil shipping costs for United States Gulf Coast to Asia cooled this week from record highs on the prospect of more vessels becoming available. Nearly 300 oil tankers globally were placed off limits due to U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela.Seventeen supertankers returned to service in October after being sidelined for overhauls, as 11 entered drydocks.

11 Oct 2019

U.S. Sanctions Bite; Traders Shun 300 Tankers

AdobeStock / © Jose Gill

Nearly 300 oil tankers globally have been placed off limits as companies fear violating U.S. sanctions against Iran and Venezuela, driving freight rates to new highs, industry sources said.The move has taken roughly 3% of the global oil tanker fleet out of the market, according to industry sources and data on Refinitiv Eikon, sending rates soaring to secure tankers to ship oil, particularly to Asia."Freight rates are going through the roof and people are getting very nervous with the cost of shipping…

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…

06 Oct 2019

Workshop on Implementing MARPOL

Pic: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

What are the barriers to implementing the International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulations to cut emissions from ships and how can these be overcome?These were key questions explored during an IMO regional workshop on effective ratification and implementation of MARPOL Annex VI and the  initial IMO strategy on reduction of GHG emissions from ships, held in Viña del Mar, Chile (30 September-2 October).Participants identified existing barriers preventing ratification of MARPOL Annex VI…

04 Oct 2019

Exxon Mobil Bans Tankers Linked to PDVSA Commerce

File image of the Proteo, a PDVSA tanker (Credit: MarineTraffic.com / © Keyla Erazo

Exxon Mobil Corp this week banned the use of vessels linked to oil flows from Venezuela in the last year, according to four people familiar with the matter, placing new pressure on the U.S. sanctioned country and on global crude freight rates.The largest publicly-traded oil producer's contract clause would affect about 250 tankers, two of the people familiar with the matter estimated. Exxon did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Over 25 foreign vessels touch Venezuelan ports per month, according to PDVSA's and Refinitiv Eikon data.Reporting by Collin Eaton

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 Sep 2019

IUMI Reports Cut in Offshore Insurance Premiums

James McDonald. Photo: IUMI

International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) Offshore Energy Committee reported a further reduction in global offshore energy premiums.Global premiums in this sector were reported to be USD 3.4 billion which represented a 3% reduction from 2017. This continued the downward trend: premiums in 2017 were down 5% on the previous year and premiums in 2016 were down 21% on 2015.James McDonald, Chair of the IUMI Offshore Energy Committee said: "The drop in premium income has largely followed the oil price which has dipped by around 20% over the past year.

30 Aug 2019

McQuilling Mid-Year Tanker Market Outlook

File Image: AdobeStock / © Carabay

McQuilling Services Announces the Release of the 2019 Mid-Year Tanker Market Outlook Update.The Mid-Year Tanker Market Outlook Update provides an outlook on the global tanker market in the context of global economic growth and oil fundamentals influencing tanker demand and vessel supply. The outlook includes a view on future asset values, time charter rates, market freight rates and TCE revenues for 24 major tanker trades and four triangulated routes across eight vessel segments for the second half of 2019 through the remaining four years of the forecast period 2019-2023.

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