PDVSA to use St Eustatius to load VLCCs

Apr 28 2014

Venezuela's state-run PDVSA will use a terminal owned by US-based NuStar Energy on St Eustatius island in the Caribbean to store crude for loading into VLCCs destined for Asia.

This move comes after PDVSA decided to cease renting a facility in the Bahamas, a PDVSA executive said on Friday, reported Reuters.

PDVSA has been using the St Eustatius terminal since March this year as a centre to store and mix its crudes and product exportable blends, the Venezuelan oil company confirmed to Reuters.

The company has already started to receive crude tankers at the facility from Venezuela.

"We plan to build a new terminal in Araya (at Venezuela's Eastern coast) but meanwhile we are renting some storage centres in Aruba and St Eustatius and using our own facilities in Bonaire and Curacao," PDVSA's refining vice president, Asdrubal Chavez, reportedly said.

"We used the Bahamas before, but from St Eustatius to Asia the trip is shorter, so we are saving time and money after negotiating with NuStar," he added.

After selling several facilities in the Caribbean to raise cash in recent years and trying to overcome fires and accidents that affected its domestic refining and storage network in 2012, PDVSA has signed new leasing contracts to use private facilities.

BORCO terminal in the Bahamas, which was owned by PDVSA until 2007 when it was sold, was later rented by the state-run company as an additional facility to its domestic network.

Asia, which last year became Venezuela's main oil export destination, is receiving an increasing volume of PDVSA's crude and products and most shipments are made by VLCCs loaded on the Venezuelan east coast, as well as the Caribbean, Reuters said.

Last year, PDVSA started leasing 4 mill barrels of storage capacity on Aruba in a facility owned by US refiner Valero Energy.


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