Venezuela News

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…

26 Mar 2019

IMO 2020: Exxon Mobil Projects 25% Decline in High-Sulfur Fuels

© Nickolay Khoroshkov/AdobeStock

Exxon Mobil Corp expects high-sulfur fuel oil demand to fall 25 percent by 2025, as a new set of emission regulations from the International Maritime Organization capping sulfur content in shipping fuel at 0.5% kicks in in 2020, a top-level official at the U.S. oil and gas company said on Monday.The International Energy Agency has forecast high-sulfur fuel oil demand to fall 60 percent next year, while marine gas oil demand to more than double.Exxon's forecast comes as its refining business is struggling to find enough heavy crude to make fuel oil and other distillates, in the face of U.S.

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…

13 Mar 2019

Training on Oil Spill Response in Caribbean

Pic: International Maritime Organization

International Maritime Organization (IMO) has conducted a Level 2 Training Course on OPRC (Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation) in St Kitts and Nevis  for oil spill response managers in the wider Caribbean region.Participants from 15 countries attended the IMO-funded event, which is focused on tactical aspects of spill preparedness and response, and applying incident management systems to assist effective coordination of spill response.The countries were Anguilla…

11 Mar 2019

US to Lead Oil Supply Growth to 2024

Dr Fatih Birol (center) and IEA Oil Analyst Toril Bosoni (right) present the findings from Oil 2019 in Houston at CERA Week on 11 March 2019 (Photograph: Getty Images)

The United States is set to drive the global oil supply growth over the next 5 years, thanks to the strength of its shale industry, triggering a rapid transformation of world oil markets, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).IEA said that oil exports from the United States will overtake Russia and close in on Saudi Arabia, bringing greater diversity of supply, by the end of the forecast.While global oil demand growth is set to ease, in particular as China slows down, it still increases an annual average of 1.2 mb/d to 2024, according to the report, Oil 2019.

11 Mar 2019

Venezuela's Jose Oil Port Unable to Resume Exports

Venezuela's state-run PDVSA oil firm has been unable to resume exports at Jose port, the nation's primary crude-export terminal, following last week's widespread power outage, according to people familiar with the matter.PDVSA has launched a contingency plan to try and restore power, according to one of the people. The country's crude upgraders, which convert up to 700,000 barrels per day of Orinoco Belt heavy oil into exportable grades, also are operating at minimum levels due to the lack of power, the people said. (Reuters, Reporting by Deisy Buitrago, Mircely Guanipa and Marianna Parraga Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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…

06 Mar 2019

PDVSA Declares Maritime Emergency

Venezuela's state-run oil company PDVSA declared a maritime emergency on Tuesday after Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM) disclosed plans to return 10 tankers over unpaid fees, according to a document from the state-run firm and sources.BSM, operator of a portion of PDVSA's tanker fleet, last month confirmed its crews would abandon the tankers Rio Arauca and Parnaso, which were held in Portugal over unpaid fees to a shipyard and port authority. A third vessel also operated by BSM, the Icaro, separately was seized in Curacao by a group of shipping firms claiming unpaid bills from PDVSA.(Reuters reporting by Marianna Parraga; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

28 Feb 2019

Frontline Predicts Tanker Market Volatility

Pic: Frontline

The tanker market improved significantly in the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2018 driven by continued strong oil demand, said Bermuda-based tanker shipping company Frontline Ltd.According to the world's largest oil tanker shipping company, crude inventory draws reversed in the quarter, after having fallen below five-year levels and reduced the demand for crude tankers in the process.There is a historical correlation between inventory cycles and tanker rates, it said. Crude…

24 Feb 2019

Crude Tanker Spot Rates Soften

Pic: Teekay Tankers

Crude tanker spot rates improved significantly during the fourth quarter of 2018, spurred by both winter market seasonality and positive underlying supply and demand fundamentals.According to a stock exchange announcement from Teekay Tankers, in the fourth quarter of 2018, OPEC crude oil production rose to 32.4 million barrels per day (mb/d), the highest level since July 2017 and up from 31.4 mb/d earlier in 2018.Most of this increase came from the Middle East, where higher production levels more than offset lower output from Venezuela and Iran.

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

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…

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