CARACAS – Three Iranian-flagged tankers Venezuela-bound may reach the country’s shores as soon as two weeks from now with a cargo of at least 131 million liters of gasoline, or 823,899 barrels, said TankerTrackers on Tuesday.
According to the specialized vessel tracking company, the Handymax “Fortune,” “Forest” and “Faxon” tankers are making a detour via Africa to head towards the Caribbean and then enter Venezuelan territorial waters.
TankerTrackers also made it clear that ships coming from Iran usually turn off their GPS devices as they sail in order to avoid sanctions, which represents a potential risk for the crew’s own safety.
According to local finance news site Banca y Negocios, as well as to consumption estimates of 35,000 barrels per day (bpd) of fuel, if this Iranian gasoline is not rationed there would only be enough for 23 and a half days, for which there is the likelihood of repeating the rationing policy at subsidized prices and distribute at least 60% at international prices.
For his part, Iván Freites, Secretary-General of Falcón state’s Oil and Gas Workers Union, told local daily El Nacional in an interview that the little gasoline supplies left in the country were refined at Cardón, which is part of the Paraguaná Refinery Complex in Falcón state and Venezuela’s biggest refinery. Notwithstanding, output at the complex was brought to a halt last Tuesday due to repairs in the plant’s R302 reactor and was expected to be up and running earlier this week.