Venezuelan state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela PDVSA.UL completed the first half of a transfer of crude from an offshore oil facility that generated concerns about a potential spill, two people with knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday.
PDVSA in December began offloading crude from the Nabarima floating storage and offloading facility (FSO), after images of the facility listing earlier last year raised alarms among workers, activists and governments of neighboring countries about a possible environmental disaster.
The facility, part of the Petrosucre joint venture between PDVSA and Italy’s Eni SpA in the Gulf of Paria off eastern Venezuela, had been holding some 1.3 million barrels of Corocoro crude. Petrosucre, 74% owned by PDVSA and 26% by Eni, has been inoperative for nearly two years due to U.S. sanctions on PDVSA.
Satellite images show that around 570,000 barrels had been transferred from the Nabarima onto the Icaro, a PDVSA-owned vessel anchored nearby, according to Samir Madani, founder of TankerTrackers.com, a service that monitors satellite data for the oil industry. The Inmaculada barge had been ferrying the Nabarima’s crude to the Icaro.
Another person with direct knowledge of the matter said the Icaro finished loading 567,000 barrels of crude on Jan. 17. Vessel tracking data on Refinitiv Eikon show the vessel is now full.
PDVSA did not immediately respond to a request for comment. It was not immediately clear where the Icaro would bring the crude.
By Marianna Parraga