Marianna Parraga, Reuters
EnergiesNet.com 07 21 2023
Venezuela’s state oil firm PDVSA this month signed two new contracts to export up to 1.6 million metric tons of petroleum coke this year, internal company documents showed, deals which will help ease a backlog that has roiled the market.
One contract signed with Turkish company Latif Petrol calls for 1 million tons to be shipped during the second half of the year. The other contract is with Reussi Trading, a St. Vincent and the Grenadines-based firm, with deliveries slated through September, according to the documents which were seen by Reuters.
The deals would replace about 70% of exports that had been due to be shipped by Maroil Trading this year before a contract with the Geneva-based firm was suspended last month.
They are PDVSA’s first non-spot deals signed since the suspension and could help calm a market where many customers are fretting about undelivered cargoes. Petcoke prices have also moved higher after declines in the first half of the year.
PDVSA did not reply to a request for comment. Reuters was unable to contact Reussi Trading and Latif Petrol, whose web pages were under construction.
Last month, PDVSA suspended its 2017 contract with Maroil, owned by shipping tycoon Wilmer Ruperti, after disagreements over accounts receivable and the validity of the deal. A general audit at PDVSA earlier this year had found more than $21 billion in accounts receivable, including some $424 million allegedly owed by Maroil.
The dispute has sent Venezuela’s petcoke exports tumbling, and a swirl of vessels are waiting to load near the OPEC-member country’s main port.
Before the suspension, Venezuela was exporting about 500,000 metric tons per month of petcoke, a remarkable increase from the 486,000 tons shipped in all of 2021, according to internal PDVSA figures and shipping data. The cargoes were mostly traded by Maroil.
Fuel-grade petcoke like Venezuela’s is a very high heating value product that leaves virtually no ash when burned and is used in power plants and cement kilns. It represents the largest portion of a global petcoke market which – including bitumen- has surpassed $22 billion in recent years, according to data from the Observatory of Economic Complexity.
Ahead of the Maroil contract suspension, PDVSA had sold spot petcoke cargoes to new customers in the second quarter.
The contract with Maroil made it responsible for most of the country’s exports of petcoke during years when prices surpassed $200 per ton. Venezuela’s petcoke delivered in Asia has recently traded around $105 per ton.
The contract also required Maroil to invest at least $138 million in infrastructure repairs in exchange for rights to sell some 12 million metric tons of PDVSA petcoke, then valued at $11.50 per ton, the company has said.
Reporting by Marianna Parraga; Editing by Edwina Gibbs
reuters.com 07 20 2023