An oil tanker loads gas in Assaluyeh seaport at the Gulf, 1,400 km south of Tehran, Iran May 27, 2016. (Reuters)

October 16, 2021

An Iran-flagged supertanker on Saturday was about to set sail from Venezuelan waters carrying 2 million barrels of heavy crude provided by state-run oil firm PDVSA, Reuters reported citing vessel tracking services and official documents.

The shipment is part of a deal agreed by PDVSA and its counterpart National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) that exchanges Iranian condensate for Venezuela’s Merey crude. The swaps aim to ease an acute shortage of diluents that has cut Venezuela’s oil output and exports.

Dino I, a very large crude carrier (VLCC) owned and operated by NIOC’s National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC), finished loading the Venezuelan oil at PDVSA’s Jose port late Friday.

The bilateral oil trade likely represents a breach of US sanctions on both nations.

The vessel arrived in Venezuela in September with its transponder turned off while carrying 2.1 million barrels of Iranian condensate.

A second condensate cargo of similar size is expected to be delivered to Venezuela in the coming weeks as part of the swap routine, which will be in effect for six months in its first phase.

Iran and Venezuela have strengthened their cooperation in the last year, as well as bolstering their ties with China, America’s arch rival on the global arena.

Reuters

About Track Persia

Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.