HOUSTON — An Iranian tanker carrying about 2 million barrels of ultra-light oil arrived in Venezuelan waters this week, non-government organization United Against Nuclear Iran said Tuesday.
Venezuela and Iran, both under United States sanctions, have recently expanded cooperation mainly through a swap that provides Venezuela's state-run oil company PDVSA with light oil for refining and diluents to produce exportable crude grades. PDVSA in return supplies Iran with Venezuelan heavy oil and fuel.
The Iran-flagged tanker Dore was seen in satellite images near PDVSA's Jose terminal on Monday, UANI's chief of staff Claire Jungman told Reuters. It was previously seen near Asaluyeh, in the Iranian province of Bushehr, in October, Jungman added.
PDVSA did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
Dore's transponder was offline in late October after loading the condensate cargo, Refinitiv Eikon vessel monitoring data showed.
In November, two supertankers linked to Iran departed from Venezuelan waters carrying Venezuelan crude and fuel oil for Iran's state firm Naftiran Intertrade Co (NICO), according to internal PDVSA's exports schedules.
Including the cargo onboard the Dore, Iran has provided PDVSA with over 26 million barrels of crude oil and condensate so far this year, according to the internal company documents.
In exchange, Venezuela has so far delivered about the same volume to Iran and it plans to ship a 1.9-million-barrel fuel oil cargo onboard another supertanker, the Huge, scheduled to depart from PDVSA's Jose terminal this month, the documents showed.
Iran also is involved in several refining projects in Venezuela aimed at helping PDVSA revive its motor fuel production.