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Venezuela has received a second shipment of fuel for Italian supermajor Eni in a month, Bloomberg has reported, noting the amount of the shipment was 351,000 barrels.
The shipment is fuel aid for the country, which cannot produce enough gasoline and diesel to cover the needs of local drivers.
The first shipment, coming from Eni and Spain’s Repsol, was 260,000 barrels. The total planned to be shipped from Europe to Venezuela is 900,000 barrels.
Last month, Bloomberg cited unnamed sources as saying PDVSA and the European majors were in talks about scheduling the shipments.
Last year, Washington allowed Eni and Repsol to ship some Venezuelan crude to process at European refineries in order to recover debts and dividends owed to them by Venezuela for their joint ventures in the country holding the world’s largest oil reserves.
In August this year, Reuters reported the two European companies were looking to expand their business in Venezuela, including through deliveries of fuels and diluent for the Venezuelan heavy crude.
Since the U.S. sanction regime does not allow for cash payments involving PDVSA, the Venezuelan company is operating on a barter basis, paying for the fuels with crude oil.
Meanwhile, despite its struggle to supply the local market with fuels, PDVSA is ramping up exports of crude oil. In September, the daily average topped 800,000 barrels—the second-highest export rate since the start of the year.
The increase in exports came on the back of a recovery in production, mainly in the Orinoco Belt which is home to most of Venezuela’s oil reserves.
The output at the joint ventures between PDVSA and Chevron, however, slipped in September, from 147,000 bpd in August to 145,000 bpd, LSEG data cited by Reuters showed. Chevron hopes to boost this to 200,000 bpd this year.
The report, which cited documents from PDVSA, also noted that higher exports have resulted in lower inventories of the country’s flagship Merey 16 crude blend, which could have a negative effect on exports in the coming months.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com