Venezuela is getting a second boost from oil major Eni Spa with a shipment of diluent to help quench the persistent scarcity of fuel that keeps Venezuelans lining up for days at gas stations.
(Bloomberg) — Venezuela is getting a second boost from oil major Eni Spa with a shipment of diluent to help quench the persistent scarcity of fuel that keeps Venezuelans lining up for days at gas stations.
A shipment of about 351,000 barrels of diluent arrived at the Cardon refinery along the country’s northwestern coast on Oct. 11, according to two people with knowledge of the situation. Data compiled by Bloomberg show the fuel was loaded at Eni’s Milazzo refinery in Sicily.
The delivery marks the second shipment by the Italian company after 260,000 barrels was sent in late August from the same European port, in conjunction with Repsol SA of Spain. It’s unclear if and how Petroleos de Venezuela SA will pay back the fuel, or if Repsol is involved in the latest delivery.
Years of mismanagement and corruption have left PDVSA unable to maintain its refining capacity and pump enough lighter grade oil from its fields. Light crude is sent to refineries to make gasoline. It’s also used as a diluent to help blend tar-like oil from Venezuela’s Orinoco belt into its top exported grade, Merey 16.
Both shipments are part of an agreement between PDVSA and Eni for a total of 900,000 barrels of light crude, according to one of the people, who spoke on condition they not be named. No details of the deal have been provided.
Eni declined to comment on details of the transaction “since they are sensitive from a commercial point of view” and said all its activities in Venezuela are in compliance with sanctions provisions. PDVSA and Repsol didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
After US oil sanctions hit the country in 2019, Venezuela leaned on Iran for diluents and gasoline to help address the country’s shortages.
The US has allowed Eni and Repsol to import crude from PDVSA to offset gas sales from the offshore Cardon IV project, in which both companies share ownership. The swap agreement with the European companies was authorized by the US Treasury Department in 2022.
–With assistance from Lucia Kassai.
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