This week Reuters news agency published a piece about one of the maneuvers that the state-owned Petróleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) has had to implement in order to place barrels of Venezuelan oil on the international market amid the blockade and embargo via US unilateral sanctions.
According to the report, the basis of the triangulation maneuver is to allocate the cargoes to some partners of the mixed companies (PDVSA’s alliances with international energy corporations), and from there they proceed to direct that cargo to its destination.
Also, the sources that provide the information to Reuters point out these key elements:
- Sales revenue does not conflict with the penalties, since these revenues are used to pay outstanding debts.
- Within this modality of sanctions, the sales allowed must be outside the reach of the Venezuelan Executive.
- Apparently, Reuters had access to internal PDVSA documents: it is noted that, at the beginning of January 2020, a shipment was made of 670 thousand barrels of oil from the oil fields of the state of Zulia, Boscán and Tía Juana, assigned to the private company Pisopetrol.
- This month, the allocation of a shipment of 1 million barrels of oil to the US company Chevron Corporation was scheduled to be dispatched from the main Jose oil port in Anzoátegui state.
- Through the Refinitiv Eikon platform, private partners use tankers chartered by them to transport cargoes from Venezuelan ports, due to the blockade.
- Some mixed companies owe money to minority shareholders, who contributed the money through loans that are backed by crude oil supply contracts. US sanctions deprived PDVSA of several of those contracts that are used as collateral for loans, thus freezing the financing.
It is evident how the blockade functions as a henchman’s tool that truncates PDVSA’s oil operations in all its spheres, including its partners. PDVSA has been using various maneuvers, which may be even more expensive, indirect and complicated, but that add to the fulfillment of its commitments, the revival of trade and, of course, the increase in production.
It should be noted that Reuters indicates that the United States has allowed the schemes designed by the Venezuelan State for the payment of debts with oil, however the agency highlights how the Venezuelan opposition increases lobby pressure to sanction intermediaries participating in these triangulations.
In addition to this, Chevron’s license to operate in Venezuela expires on January 22. In October 2019, the U.S. Department of the Treasury renewed this license for the last time.
Translated by JRE/EF