Two Venezuelan tankers stuck in Portugal to lose crews

Feb 22 2019

Seafarers on board two PDVSA controlled tankers are to be dismissed, due to unpaid debts accumulated by subsidiary PDV Marina.

The vessels are the Suezmax ‘Rio Arauca’, which has been anchored in the River Tagus, off Lisbon for almost two years and the Aframax ‘Parnaso’, which is at the Setenave shiprepair yard in Setubal. 

In a message to Reuters, the vessels’ manager, Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM) confirmed that both crews will be removed.

Lisbon’s maritime court ruled to take possession of the ‘Parnaso’ last August.

PDV Marina owes BSM at least $15 mill, according to a source at the company and a document seen by Reuters.

BSM said the ‘Rio Arauca’ arrived in Lisbon in May, 2017 but has been inactive and unable to dock since then. She was seen in the Tagus by Tanker Operator’s Editor during a trip to Lisbon on 26th December, 2017.

“BSM, as the manager for ‘Rio Arauca’, has operated a crew rotation, maintaining sufficient manning levels on board to ensure the vessel’s safety and security while at anchor in the Tagus for the past 21 months,” BSM told Reuters, adding that the vessel was securely at anchor.

Legal responsibility for the vessel now sits with the arresting parties, BSM confirmed.

Lisbon’s Port Authority (APL) told the newswire that ‘Rio Arauca’ had arrived with a cargo of crude for Portuguese oil company Galp Energia, but later local Portuguese company Navex declined to continue to be the tanker’s agent.

As a result, the tanker was then subject to “successive arrest orders”, APL said.

APL filed a petition against PDV Marina in April, 2018 over accumulating monthly charges of €200,000. APL said PDV Marina owed the port authority €1.7 mill as of the end of last year.

In August, 2018 another arrest order was issued by bunker fuel broker, Amoil. BSM explained that Amoil had secured a maritime lien on the vessel claiming an unpaid debt by PDV Marina.

‘Rio Arauca’ arrived in Lisbon with 26 crew members but Portugal’s Immigration and Border Service (SEF) said only 16 people remained on board.


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