CARACAS – Oil inventories from the Jose terminal in Anzoátegui state have reached their maximum levels since August after the regular clients of state-owned oil company Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) shied away from doing business due to the severe sanctions imposed by Washington against the regime of Nicolás Maduro and the nation’s battered oil industry.
Crude oil levels in Jose’s storage tanks hit 11.8 million barrels on Saturday, more than double a month ago when they were at 5.6 million barrels, according to a Reuters report on Monday based on PDVSA documents. That being said, only a capacity of 3 million is still available which may force PDVSA to reduce output as did early this year.
According to Argus Media, Venezuela’s oil inventories have jumped 84% over the last three weeks.
The sudden increase in inventories comes at a time when a deadline extension set by the US government in April for those international energy companies still operating in Venezuela, including Italy’s Eni, Spain’s Repsol, and Thailand’s Tipco Asphalt, to close their deals with PDVSA is due to expire shortly.
The documents obtained by Reuters revealed that there is only one tanker (Antares Shine) set to carry 1 million barrels of Merey 16 crude from Jose to be delivered to Tipco. The cargo was expected to be loaded between October 23 and October 25, but Refinitiv Eikon data this week has shown that it has not been done yet.