HOUSTON, Dec 6 (Reuters) – An Iranian tanker carrying about 2 million barrels of ultra light-oil arrived this week in Venezuelan waters, non-government organization United Against Nuclear Iran said on Tuesday.
Venezuela and Iran have recently expanded cooperation mainly through a swap that provides Venezuela’s state-run oil company PDVSA with light oil for refining and diluents to produce exportable crude grades. PDVSA in return supplies Iran with Venezuelan heavy oil and fuel.
The Iran-flagged tanker Dore was seen in satellite images near PDVSA’s Jose terminal on Monday, UANI’s chief of staff Claire Jungman told Reuters. It was previously seen near Asaluyeh, in the Iranian province of Bushehr, in October, Jungman added.
PDVSA did not immediate reply to a request for comment.
The tanker’s transponder was offline in late October after loading a condensate cargo, Refinitiv Eikon vessel monitoring data showed.
In November, two supertankers linked to Iran departed from Venezuelan waters carrying Venezuelan crude and fuel oil for Iran‘s state firm Naftiran Intertrade Co (NICO), according to internal PDVSA’s exports schedules.
The schedules showed another supertanker planned to depart from PDVSA’s Jose terminal in December carrying a fuel oil cargo for NICO.
Including the cargo onboard the Dore, Iran has provided PDVSA with over 26 million barrels of crude oil and condensate so far this year, according to the internal company documents.
Iran also is involved in several refining projects in Venezuela aimed at helping PDVSA revive its motor fuel production. Both Iran and Venezuela are under U.S. sanctions.
(Reporting by Marianna Parraga)