Venezuela News

11 Feb 2019

Fund Buying Slows on Crude

© Pawin/AdobeStock

Hedge funds added more bullish positions in crude at the start of February but at a much slower pace than before, as optimism about OPEC output cuts was tempered by renewed anxiety about the U.S.-China trade talks.Hedge funds and other money managers increased their net long position in Brent crude futures and options for the eighth time in the last nine weeks but by just 1 million barrels.Fund managers added new short positions (+13 million barrels) for the week ended Feb. 5…

11 Feb 2019

Bahri Refutes U.S. Charges on VLCC

A Bahri VLCC Tanker. Photo: Bahri

The National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri) on Sunday clarified that its very large crude carrier (VLCC) tanker Abqaiq was not breaching the US sanctions on Venezuela.Earlier, the US Senator Marco Rubio accused Bahri of trying to sell diluents to the Venezuelan regime."Abqaiq is in ballast condition with no cargo onboard and on her way from the Red Sea to pick up a cargo from the Port of Jose Terminal in Venezuela for one of its regular customers in India," said a statement…

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.

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…

31 Jan 2019

Venezuela Government Threatens to Board Tanker to Have Fuel Discharged

Venezuela's intelligence police and the National Guard threatened on Thursday to board a tanker docked at state-run PDVSA's Cardon port to pressure the vessel's crew to discharge diesel sold by U.S. refiner Citgo Petroleum, according to four sources.Venezuela's fuel inventories have drained this week since the United States imposed new sanctions on PDVSA, making it difficult for customers to pay for Venezuelan crude exports and to get paid to deliver imports needed for the country's domestic market.Reporting by Mircely Guanipa and Marianna Parraga

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.

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…

26 Dec 2018

Exxon Mobil: Drilling Continues Offshore Guyana

Exxon Mobil Corp said on Wednesday its oil drilling and development activities offshore Guyana were unaffected despite neighboring Venezuela's navy stopping two seismic survey vessels the company had hired.The closest of 10 oil finds Exxon has made off Guyana's coast is 110 kilometers (68 miles) away from the northwest part of the Stabroek block, where the navy halted seismic data collection on Saturday, the company said. Each country's government says the incident took place in its territorial waters."Exploration and development drilling is continuing in the southeast area of the Stabroek Block," the company said in a statement. Exxon did not say whether the two vessels…

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…

23 Dec 2018

Maurel & Prom Buys Shell's Stake in Venezuela

Image: Shell Global

Paris-based Maurel & Prom announced that it has acquired Shell Exploration and Production Investments' 40% interest as Shareholder B in Petroregional del Lago Mixed Company, which operates the Urdaneta West field in Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela.Maurel & Prom said further that all condition precedents have been satisfied and that the acquisition has been completed.The total consideration for the acquisition of Shell's shares in the Mixed Company is EUR70 million, funded from Maurel…

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…

03 Dec 2018

Iran Navy Launches Stealth Warship in the Gulf

Iran's navy on Saturday launched a domestically made destroyer, which state media said has radar-evading stealth properties, as tensions rise with arch-enemy, the United States.In a ceremony carried live on state television, the Sahand destroyer -- which can sustain voyages lasting five months without resupply -- joined Iran's regular navy at a base in Bandar Abbas on the Gulf.The Sahand has a flight deck for helicopters, torpedo launchers, anti-aircraft and anti-ship guns, surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles and electronic warfare capabilities, state television reported.U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of an international agreement on Iran's nuclear programme in May and reimposed sanctions on Tehran.

15 Nov 2018

Teekay Expects Recovery in Tankers Market

Image: Teekay

Crude tanker rates have continued to strengthen during the early part of the fourth quarter of 2018, particularly in the Atlantic Basin with Aframax tanker rates in this region attaining levels not seen since December 2016 and Suezmax tanker rates averaging the highest since March 2017, says Teekay Tankers.The conventional tanker fleet operator said that crude tanker spot rates firmed counter-seasonally during the third quarter of 2018, which is typically the weakest quarter of the year, as higher OPEC and Russian oil production, coupled with strong crude oil exports out of the U.S.

13 Sep 2018

Venezuela Resumes Key Domestic Crude Exports to Cuba

© korkeakoski / Adobe Stock

Venezuela resumed supplying a key domestic crude to political ally Cuba this summer as the South American country's refining output fell further, according to internal documents from state-run oil firm PDVSA seen by Reuters.The shipments, which began in June and continued through August, totaled 4.19 million barrels of Venezuela's Mesa 30 crude, a type used to produce fuel at domestic refineries and to blend with heavier oil for export.Venezuela has supplied Cuba with oil under agreements since 2000.(Reporting by Marianna Parraga Editing by Toni Reinhold)

24 Sep 2018

Oil Could Rise to $100 by 2019

© alexyz3d / Adobe Stock

Oil prices could rise towards $100 per barrel towards the end of the year or by early 2019 as sanctions against Iran bite, commodity merchants Trafigura and Mercuria said on Monday at the Asia Pacific Petroleum Conference (APPEC) in Singapore.Almost 2 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude could be taken out of the market as a result of the U.S. sanctions against Iran by the end of the fourth quarter this year, said Daniel Jaeggi, president of commodity merchant Mercuria Energy Trading…

12 Sep 2018

PDVSA to Reopen Damaged Port Dock by Month's End

© Haris Andronos / Adobe Stock

PDVSA expects to reopen the south dock of Venezuela's main oil port Jose by the end of September, easing strains on crude exports delayed due to a tanker collision last month, according to internal trade documents from the state-run oil firm seen by Reuters.Last week, PDVSA began diverting tankers to Puerto la Cruz for loading, but the South American country's crude exports have remained slow in recent weeks as few customers have accepted the 500,000-barrel-per-cargo maximum neighboring terminals can handle.Besides Puerto la Cruz…

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…

09 Oct 2018

Chevron Eyes Houston Ship Channel for 2nd US Gulf Refinery

(File photo: Port of Houston)

Chevron Corp wants to build or buy a refinery along the U.S. Gulf Coast to process crude oil from its rapidly growing Permian Basin operations, a senior executive said on Tuesday.The company would like to have refining operations on the Houston Ship Channel, in the western part of the U.S. Gulf, to complement an existing eastern Gulf refinery in Mississippi that makes lubricants and other materials, Pierre Breber, Chevron's head of downstream and chemicals, said."Something on the ship channel side could make a lot of sense for our company…

25 Sep 2018

Guyana Puts Oil Auctions on Hold

(File photo: Hexx Corp)

Guyana has put planned oil auctions on hold as the impoverished South American country works to establish a Department of Energy to oversee the energy boom, Minister of State Joseph Harmon said on Monday.Since 1999, Guyana has awarded a group led by Exxon Mobil Corp hundreds of oil blocks along Guyana's maritime borders with Venezuela and Suriname. Their finds are turning Guyana, a country with no history of oil production and relaxed energy regulation, into one of Latin America's hottest prospects for oil investments.Exxon…

19 Sep 2018

IUMI: Cautious Optimism for Offshore Underwriters in 2018

James McDonald. Photo:  International Union of Marine Insurance

Although global premiums for the offshore energy insurance sector dipped by 5% in 2017, signs of recovery are on the horizon."We need to apply some caution as the margins between supply and demand are thin but these small margins can create volatility in the market," pointed out International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI)'s Offshore Energy Committee Chairman, James McDonald.Oil prices have steadily risen by 40% since last year’s IUMI conference and this is starting to drive activity in the oil and gas sector.

06 Sep 2018

Kalmar STS for Curaçao Port Services

Photo: Kalmar

Kalmar, part of Cargotec has signed a contract for supplying two Kalmar Ship-to-Shore (STS) cranes, including related spare parts, to Curaçao Port Services, said a press release.The Panamax size cranes will be used for modernising the customer's container handling operations at the Willemstad Container Terminal in Curaçao. The order was booked into Cargotec's 2018 third quarter order intake, and the delivery is planned to be completed by the end of 2019. The island of Curaçao is located strategically in the Southern Caribbean approximately 35 miles off the northwestern coast of Venezuela.

01 Nov 2018

Cautious Consolidation for OSV Companies Brings Market Change

A Gulfmark offshore support vessel (CREDIT: Gulfmark)

Will a rising tide in the offshore oil markets float all the boats? In the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, that remains to be seen.Offshore services, exploration and production are on a roll. In early October, yet another business combination of big drillers was announced. In a sign of optimism, Ensco announced its plan for an all-stock acquisition of Rowan Offshore, worth around $2.4 billion. The new company will be domiciled in the United Kingdom, but will have a large presence in Houston.

09 Nov 2018

Workboat Design: MultiMission Vessels have adaptable platforms

24 Workskiff M Series multi-mission vessel with walk around pilot house for the Tulalip Indian Fish and Game Agency for fisheries management, law enforcement, search and rescue and fire fighting. Naval architecture and marine engineering by Boksa Marine Design.

Drug interdiction. Crew transport in hostile waters. Law enforcement. Rescue operations. Passenger vessels. Today’s MultiMission Vessels (MMVs) are a diverse collection of workboats characterized by adaptable platforms, customized with standard accessories.A larger budget for electronics and multiple, smart, navigational screens and MDTs challenge the interior configuration of already crowded MMVs, increasingly built with matching FEMA port security grant funds for joint venture operations.More monohull patrol vessels monitor illegal fishing…

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