Venezuela has reportedly begun imports of Iranian heavy oil to supply feed for the Latin American country’s refineries.
Under the terms of a swap deal signed between Tehran and Caracas last year, the Venezuelan PDVSA oil company will import Iranian condensates to turn their super heavy oil to export grade. The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) will receive Venezuelan oil in return.
Over the past few years, Venezuela has imported the equipment required for overhaul of its refineries from Iran.
El Palito refinery, with a production capacity of 146,000 barrels a day, launched a distillation unit this week after it underwent a full overhaul.
During a last week visit to Venezuela, Iran’s Petroleum Minister Javad Owji met with the country’s President Nicolas Maduro and discussed the cooperation agreements made with his Venezuelan counterpart Tareck El Aissami.
At least 200,000 barrels of Iranian heavy oil were delivered to Cardon Refinery – Venezuela’s second biggest refinery – in mid-April.
Another 400,000 barrel cargo of Iranian oil was unloaded in Venezuela’s Port of Jose this week.