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Following the U.S. sanctions relief on Venezuela’s oil industry, supermajor Chevron has started to supply Venezuelan state oil firm PDVSA with fuels in an expansion of an oil swap deal, Reuters reports, citing sources with knowledge of the matter.
Chevron has already sent one cargo to Venezuela as part of what could be an expanded oil swap agreement under which Chevron receives Venezuelan crude oil in exchange for fuels and diluents for the Chevron-PDVSA joint ventures operating in the South American country.
One vessel carrying naphtha has already docked at the port of Jose, while another cargo of gasoline blend stock was chartered this week and is expected to arrive in Venezuela later this month, according to Reuters’ sources.
Before the U.S. eased the sanctions on Venezuela, Chevron was the only Western major with a special exemption from late 2022 to operate in Venezuela and export crude from the country holding the world’s largest crude oil reserves.
The easing of the sanctions now allows the production, lifting, sale, and exportation of oil or gas from Venezuela, and the provision of related goods and services, as well as payment of invoices for goods or services related to oil or gas sector operations in Venezuela.
As a result, the top international oil trading houses are back in the business of trading with oil from Venezuela.
Some of the largest independent oil trading houses are already offering Venezuelan cargoes, including to U.S. buyers. Commodity giants have also struck deals to buy crude from intermediaries approved by Venezuela’s state-owned oil company PDVSA.
Vitol Group, the world’s largest independent oil trader, has hired a supertanker to load oil from Venezuela, lists of ship charters compiled by Bloomberg showed earlier this week.
Gunvor Group was the first of the biggest trading houses to offer to U.S. refiners a supertanker of Venezuelan crude, according to sources familiar with the matter who spoke to Bloomberg.
Gunvor and another commodity trading giant, Trafigura, have accessed Venezuelan cargoes in recent weeks after buying crude from intermediaries approved by PDVSA, Reuters reported last week, citing company documents and four people with knowledge of the deals.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.