Marianna Parraga, Reuters
Energiesnet.com 10 26 2023
Venezuela’s PDVSA has signed at least two new spot contracts to export fuel oil and asphalt cement, demanding prepayment in euros from customers, according to company documents seen by Reuters on Wednesday, as the state-run oil company begins to turn to cash sales after the U.S. eased sanctions.
The U.S. last week issued a license allowing the OPEC member to freely export crude oil, fuel and natural gas to its chosen markets in the next six months, the widest easing of sanctions decided since Washington first imposed the measures in 2019.
PDVSA has since contacted its traditional customers seeking to reactivate some of its unexpired supply contracts, while negotiating prompt sales on the open market under a prepayment condition to catch much-needed cash.
Sources last week said global commodities trader Trafigura was looking to charter at least one large tanker to export Venezuelan fuel oil.
In the two contracts, both with United Arab Emirates-based firms, PDVSA demands prepayment in order to authorize the cargo loadings, according to the documents.
The state company has this year tried to switch most of its supply deals to prepayment following an anti-corruption probe that found billion of dollars in unpaid oil cargoes.
The sanction easing is not expected to trigger a significant oil output increase in Venezuela, but PDVSA is moving to take advantage of the license’s short validity to secure cashflow.
One of the contracts signed since last week is for the sale of 1 million barrels of fuel oil with up to 1.9% of sulphur content in November to UAE-based shipping firm Asia Charm LTD. The fuel cargo, for Asia delivery, was negotiated at a fixed price of $41 per barrel.
The second deal, with Dubai-based firm Tradeco International DMCC, is for 70,000 barrels of asphalt cement for delivery this week at the Amuay port, in a contract indexed to high-sulphur fuel oil prices from the U.S. Gulf Coast minus $22.5 per barrel.
PDVSA did not reply to a request for comment. Asia Charm and Tradeco could not be immediately reached for comment.
U.S. officials have warned that if conditions for a fair presidential election are not met by President Nicolas Maduro’s administration, the sanction easing could be reversed.
Reporting by Marianna Parraga Editing by Marguerita Choy
reuters.com 10 25 2023