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Oil tankers shun Venezuela as bite of US black list law looms

FEAR of US black-listing have turned away oil tankers that were sailing toward Venezuela intent on shipping Venezuelan oil, reports London's Tanker Operator

16 June 2020 - 23:54

FEAR of US black-listing have turned away oil tankers that were sailing toward Venezuela intent on shipping Venezuelan oil, reports London's Tanker Operator.

'Anything on the potential sanctions list will just become toxic,' a source at a top oil trading company said. 'No one will touch it until it's clear what the rules will be.'



According to shipping data and industry source, the threat of tighter sanctions is already disrupting the global shipping market.



Oil companies and merchants worldwide - not just in China - are becoming more wary of vessels that have recently transported Venezuelan oil, sources said.



Chinese oil firms are considering whether to decline to charter any tanker that has visited Venezuela in the past year, no matter where the ship is now, or for what voyage, four shipping sources told Reuters.



Washington is seeking to oust the socialist government of President Nicolas Maduro by choking oil exports, measures that have contributed to a fall in Venezuelan oil exports to a 17-year low.



The United States may add dozens more tankers to an existing blacklist, US sources told Reuters. That would make it more difficult for state-owned PDVSA to deliver oil to refineries abroad.



Malta-flagged tanker Seadancer, operated by Greek firm Thenamaris Ships Management and chartered by Thai refiner Tipco Asphalt, returned to Gibraltar after waiting in the Atlantic Ocean for a week, according to Refinitiv Eikon tracking data.



Tipco Asphalt said the company had dropped plans to use the vessel, which had previously been on course for waters off the coast of Venezuela at Amuay, according to the Eikon data and PDVSA's export schedules.



The Seadancer was scheduled to load one million barrels of Venezuela's Boscan crude for shipping to Malaysia's Kemaman refinery, operated by Tipco, according to the schedules.



Tankers did not immediately reply to requests for comment. As word spread on the possibility of more Venezuela-related shipping sanctions to come, at least three more very large crude carriers (VLCCs) - Boston, Commodore and Respect - exited Venezuelan waters to anchor in the Eastern Caribbean, the Eikon data showed.



Oil companies and merchants worldwide - not just in China - are becoming more wary of vessels that have recently transported Venezuelan oil, the sources said.



'Anything on the potential sanctions list will just become toxic,' a source at a top oil trading company said. 'No one will touch it until it's clear what the rules will be.'


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