Venezuela has agreed to a key contract to swap its heavy oil for Iranian condensate that it can use to improve the quality of its tar-like crude, with the first cargoes due this week, five people close to the deal told Reuters.
As the South American country seeks to boost its declining oil exports in the face of US sanctions, sources say the agreement between state-owned companies Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) and National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) deepens cooperation between Caracas and Tehran in the face of the tough US sanctions.
According to the report, the first shipment of 1.9 million barrels of Venezuelan heavy crude Merey under the new trade set sail earlier this week from the port of PDVSA in Jose on the National-owned and operated very large crude carrier (VLCC) Felicity Iranian Tanker Co (NITC), according to the three-person and monitoring service TankerTrackers.com.
The shipment of Venezuelan crude is a partial payment for a shipment of 2 million barrels of Iranian condensate that arrived in Venezuela on Thursday, according to the three sources and one of PDVSA’s port schedules.
The news comes after Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and his Venezuelan counterpart Felix Plasencia vowed in a meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly Thursday to cooperate on confronting the US sanctions on both nations.