The Iranian-flagged oil tanker, Suezmax Sonia I, which left Kharg Island in early May, has arrived in Venezuelan waters on Saturday, June 11, according to a Reuters report.
The Suezmax Sonia I has a cargo of around 1 million barrels of Iranian crude oil. This is the third oil tanker belonging to Iran‘s Naftiran Intertrade Company (NICO) to supply Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) with Iranian crude. The oil shipments are part of an agreement signed between Venezuela and Iran to supply lighter crude to Venezuela, that is necessary for refining of Venezuelan heavy crude.
Two other Iranian oil tankers, Dino I and Silvia I, arrived in Venezuela in May, with the first crude oil shipments this year. After unloading their cargo, the tankers loaded Venezuelan heavy crude and fuel to carry to Iran in exchange.
Both Iran and Venezuela have developed mechanisms to evade US-imposed sanctions on their oil industry as well as the economic blockades. Amongst these mechanisms, there have been ship-to-ship transfers in the open sea in a “remote point” off the Maldives archipelago in the Indian Ocean.
Since 2020, Iran has been sending fuel to Venezuela. This has aided Venezuela in the midst of the crisis generated by the US unilateral coercive measures. Iran has also assisted Venezuela with repair work of refineries.
During President Nicolás Maduro’s recent visit to Iran, the two countries signed a cooperation agreement for the next 20 years. This cooperation agreement encompasses oil exchange and refining, petrochemicals, defense, agriculture, tourism and culture.
(RedRadioVE) by Ana Perdigón
Translation: Orinoco Tribune
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