Venezuelan state-run oil company PDVSA has completed its first ship-to-ship (STS) transfer designed to ease a severe bottleneck of tankers around its main crude ports, according to sources close to the operation and Reuters vessel tracking data.
PDVSA has notified customers in recent days that they must agree to load crude in Venezuela's open waters rather than its ports to avoid a possible declaration of force majeure that would temporarily interrupt some of its supply contracts.
The Suezmax tanker Sonangol Kalandula, bound for Tipco Asphalt's refinery in Kemaman, Malaysia, has not yet set sail. The vessel had been waiting since February to load Venezuelan Boscan heavy crude, according to the data.
(Reporting by Mircely Guanipa and Marianna Parraga Editing by Leslie Adler)