Left Menu
Development News Edition

Tankers carrying Iranian fuel approach the Caribbean -data

Reuters | Havana | Updated: 23-05-2020 00:04 IST | Created: 22-05-2020 23:35 IST
Tankers carrying Iranian fuel approach the Caribbean -data

A flotilla of five tankers carrying Iranian fuel for gasoline-starved Venezuela is approaching the Caribbean, with the first vessel expected to reach the South American country's waters on Sunday, according to Refinitiv Eikon tracking data. Iran is supplying about 1.53 million barrels of gasoline and alkylate to Venezuela, according to both governments, sources and calculations made by TankerTrackers.com based on the vessels' draft levels.

The shipments have caused a diplomatic standoff between Iran and Venezuela and the United States as both nations are under U.S. sanctions. Washington is considering measures in response, according to a senior U.S. official, who did not elaborate on any options being weighed. The United States recently beefed up its naval presence in the Caribbean for what it said was an expanded anti-drug operation. But a Pentagon spokesman, Jonathan Hoffman, said on Thursday he was not aware of any operations related to the Iranian cargoes.

"We have continued to say that Iran and Venezuela - both two outliers in the international order - (are) clearly violating international sanctions on both nations with this transaction," he told reporters. Venezuela's defense minister said its military will escort the Iranian tankers once they reach the nation's exclusive economic zone.

Iran-flagged tanker Fortune, the first in the flotilla, was approaching the Caribbean Sea on Friday. It has been navigating with its satellite signal on since it passed the Suez Canal earlier in May. The four other vessels are following the same route across the Atlantic Ocean, the Eikon data showed. The OPEC-member country desperately needs fuel for up to 1,800 gasoline stations that have been partially closed for weeks due to insufficient supply from state-run PDVSA's refineries, which until March worked at about 10% of their joint capacity of 1.3 million barrels per day.

PDVSA's gasoline output is now limited to a single facility, the Amuay refinery, but most fuel produced is low octane as most of the country's alkylation units are out of service, according to company sources. Imported alkylate could improve the quality of domestic gasoline. PDVSA did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Venezuela was consuming 170,000 bpd of gasoline before coronavirus-related lockdown measures. Fuel sales at stations declined to about 40,000 bpd due to rationing, according to analysts. Over a decade of mismanagement and lack of staff, combined with U.S. sanctions that since 2019 have limited imports, Venezuela's refineries are in poor condition. Shipments of equipment in flights by Iran's Mahar Air have arrived in Venezuela in recent weeks to start repair work.

The U.S. Treasury Department this week blacklisted the Chinese firm that provided the refinery parts. Beijing called the sanctions "illegal."


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Rethinking Rural Livelihoods in the Times of COVID-19

The reverse migration caused by COVID 19 pandemic has put an additional burden of about one crore people on Indian villages particularly in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Bengal and Odisha. Besides increasing the risk of spreading the ...

‘Discounted Deaths’ and COVID 19: Anthropology of Death and Emotions

Death is a social event rather than the mere cessation of biological functions. As seen by anthropologists, death is not just physical but intensely social, cultural, and political....

Indigenous knowledge of communities a must for maximizing impact of community work

Generally, it has been observed that the majority of the academicians in higher education institutions neglect the wisdom of community people and throw their weight around thinking that they know everything and the community knows nothing. ...

In rebuking FBR, Pakistan’s courts take a stand for public health

The system, if implemented effectively, will allow Pakistans revenue service to combat the illicit trade in tobacco products and potentially add hundreds of millions of dollars to the states budget each year. ...

Videos

Latest News

MAD Lions win twice at BLAST Spring Showdown - Europe

MAD Lions cruised to two victories on Tuesday to push their record to 3-0 through two days of the BLAST Premier Spring Showdown European event. MAD Lions routed Virtus.pro and Dignitas, assuring themselves a playoff spot and taking a comman...

Gambia calls for transparent probe of U.S. police shooting of diplomat's son

Gambias government called on Tuesday for a credible and transparent investigation into the shooting death of one of its citizens by U.S. police in the state of Georgia last Friday. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation GBI said in a statement...

First-time young black women protesters say they are "done being silent"

By Ellen Wulfhorst NEW YORK, June 2 Thomson Reuters Foundation - U.S. law student Brieana Gillyard was a child when Sean Bell, Eric Garner and other unarmed black men were killed at the hands of police, and she didnt grasp the potency of th...

Trump suggested taking control of Washington, D.C. police -reports

The Trump administration floated the idea of taking control of Washingtons police department amid nationwide protests over police brutality, according to media reports on Tuesday. U.S. President Donald Trump said in remarks in the White Hou...

Give Feedback