Venezuela's PDVSA raises prospect of force majeure on oil exports -sources

09 Junio, 2018, 10:17 | Author: Arnold Perez
  • Chevron is seen at the company's office in Caracas Venezuela

The arrests, in a raid by national intelligence officers, were the first at a foreign oil firm since Venezuela's government launched a purge last year that has resulted in detentions of more than 80 executives at state oil company PDVSA and partners.

In January, the government arrested several managers at Petro-Piar, which is a joint venture between Chevron and state-owned oil company PDVSA, and charged the executives with embezzlement and conspiracy tied to the illegal manipulation of production figures.

Maintenance will last through the end of June and PDVSA clients that reject new deals with supply haircuts could see all of their Venezuelan supplies suspended until the circumstances obliging PDVSA to declare force majeure are resolved, one of the PDVSA officials told Argus.

One of PDVSA's Indian customers confirmed it had received a request to load its cargoes via ship-to-ship transfers. The measure also has been taken to avoid further cargo seizures, after Conoco won temporary court orders retaining two vessels near Aruba in May.

Venezuelan ports - facing lack of spare parts, limited operation hours and a dwindling workforce - have struggled to handle the growing number of tankers, leaving customers with growing delays and unfulfilled supply contracts.

The lack of export and storage terminals, especially those with deep-water docks to load large vessels bound for Asia, has forced PDVSA to divert tankers to Venezuela in recent weeks.

The company's proposed STS transfer solution, to be performed in waters 6 miles (9.7 km) from Venezuela's Cardon refinery, faces a reluctant reception among oil buyers, according to shippers and traders.

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"Now we will continue with an economic counteroffensive, the most difficult thing. we are going to win this battle for economic peace, for stability, for prosperity, and we are going to go the length in the fight against the criminal economy", Maduro was quoted as saying.

But the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he had doubts over whether PDVSA could deliver on time and who would be given priority.

Venezuela's crude exports fell 6% in May to 1.168-million barrels a day following US ConocoPhillips' legal actions to seize PDVSA's assets in four Caribbean islands, according to the data.

"A STS operation adds at least $1 per barrel to the purchase cost".

Insurance coverage for tankers and cargoes would also have to be changed to include the STS operation if customers accept the option, Campbell said.

Tankers waiting to load more than 24 million barrels of crude, almost as much as PDVSA shipped in April, are sitting off Jose, the country's main oil port, according to the data.

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