Venezuela has begun testing sea-borne oil transfers to ease a severe backlog of crude deliveries from its main terminals. according to sources and data. as chronic delays and production declines could temporarily halt state-run PDVSA’s supply contracts if they are not cleared soon.
The company has told some customers it may declare force majeure. allowing it to temporarily suspend export contracts. if they do not accept new delivery terms. including sea-borne transfers.
The delivery method entails specialized equipment and training and higher costs for ship owners and customers. But PDVSA is pushing ahead over customer doubts given the congestion at its ports and need to complete sales that are the lifeblood of the OPEC member.
Tankers waiting to load more than 24 million barrels of crude. almost as much as PDVSA shipped in April. are sitting off Jose. the country’s main oil port. according to the data.
PDVSA did not reply to requests for comment.