Tankers to discharge Iranian crude, condensate at Venezuela’s main port

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HOUSTON, Sept 26 (Reuters) – Tankers carrying about 1.22 million barrels of Iranian crude and 2 million barrels of condensate are scheduled to discharge at Venezuela’s Jose terminal in the coming days, according to a document from state oil company PDVSA.

Venezuela relies in Iran for a large portion of the diluents that PDVSA uses to convert its heavy oil to exportable grades. Iranian crude also is being refined in the South American country to produce motor fuels.

One of the tankers that arrived this month in Venezuelan waters is the Iran-flagged very large crude carrier (VLCC) Huge, operated by National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC), according to the document. Non-profit organization United Against Nuclear Iran and monitoring service confirmed its identity.

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For the second cargo, the PDVSA document used the name of a ship that was scrapped, according to ship registries.

The Middle Eastern country has this year ramped up exports to u.s.-sanctioned venezuela, including South Pars condensate, mostly using its own tanker fleet.

PDVSA and NITC’s parent firm, National Iranian Oil Company, did not immediately reply to requests for comment.

Both cargoes were supplied by Naftiran Intertrade Company Ltd, according to the document. The Iranian firm, along with other state companies, earlier this year signed a 110-million-euro contract with PDVSA to revamp a Venezuelan refinery and supply oil to the firm.

Between July and August, Venezuela imported about 4.8 million barrels of Iranian crude and condensate, according to PDVSA’s shipping documents.

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Reporting by Marianna Parraga; Editing by Stephen Coates

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