Tanker arrives in Venezuelan waters to discharge Iranian crude -document, data

1 min read

(Reuters) -A tanker carrying about 1 million barrels on Iranian heavy crude arrived in recent days in Venezuelan waters for delivery to the country’s largest refinery, according to a shipping report seen by Reuters on Monday and vessel tracking data.

Iran and Venezuela have recently expanded a swap agreement signed last year, adding the supply of Iranian heavy crude to Venezuela’s El Palito refinery and Paraguana Refining Center (CRP), part of an effort to revamp the dilapidated facilities.

The South American country urgently needs to ramp up fuel production to avoid another gasoline and diesel crisis as the ones seen in recent years, which left long lines of cars and delivery trucks waiting in front of stations.

Iran-flagged Suezmax tanker Silvia I, owned and operated by National Iranian Tanker Company, arrived on Sunday to an anchorage area near Venezuela’s Amuay port, which serves the 645,000-barrel-per-day refinery, the document showed.

Days earlier the vessel was seen in satellite pictures close to Venezuela’s largest port, the Jose terminal, according to monitoring service TankerTrackers.com.

The vessel departed in early April from Khor Fakkan, on the Gulf of Oman, and switched off its transponder when navigating near the Cape of Good Hope towards the Atlantic Ocean, according to Refinitiv Eikon monitoring data.

(Reporting by Mircely Guanipa in Maracay, Venezuela, and Marianna Parraga in Houston; Editing by Gary McWilliams)