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Venezuela Gets Fuel Aid from Eni, Repsol as Shortages Persist – Bloomberg

Huge lines have reappeared outside Venezuelan gasoline stations as the oil industry rations fuel in response to technical failures at refineries. (Gaby Oraa/Bloomberg)
Huge lines have reappeared outside Venezuelan gasoline stations as the oil industry rations fuel in response to technical failures at refineries. (Gaby Oraa/Bloomberg)

Fabiola Zerpa, Bloomberg News

EnergiesNet.com 08 31 2023

President Nicolás Maduro got a first time boost from oil majors Eni Spa and Repsol SA with a naphtha shipment to help placate fuel scarcity that’s kept Venezuelans lining up for days at service stations.

The country’s state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA is unloading a 260,000 barrels shipment of naphtha sent by Italy’s Eni and Spain’s Repsol, according to three people familiar with the situation. The naphtha will be mixed with less refined gasoline produced at the Paraguana refining center to help alleviate shortages for Venezuelan drivers, one of the people said. 

It is unclear the terms of the exchange, but the European firms and PDVSA are in talks for a fuel supply schedule, one of the people said. Eni declined to comment on details of the transaction “since they are sensitive from a commercial point of view” and said all its activities in Venezuela are in compliance sanctions provisions. Repsol and PDVSA did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

This is the first time European majors send naphtha to Venezuela since the US imposed sanctions on PDVSA in 2019. Before then, Venezuela regularly used to supply crude oil in exchange for gasoline, diesel and diluent, from companies including Repsol, Reliance and a Rosneft subsidiary. 

Eni and Repsol have exported Venezuela oil since last year after receiving an agreement in a comfort-type letter from US Treasury Department.

The ship Minerva Xanthe arrived on Aug. 29 from Eni’s Milazzo port, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. 

Venezuela’s current fuel production is around 95,000 barrels a day, which is not nearly enough to satisfy demand. Most of the supply from its refining system is directed to the capital of Caracas to prevent disruptions. Other cities in the country have long endured rationing, with many fuel stations shut or operating just a few hours a day. 

–With assistance from Lucia Kassai.

bloomberg.com 08 30 2023

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