Curacao faces potential crisis because of ConocoPhillips and PDVSA dispute

The Prime Minister of Curacao says the Caribbean island could suffer great economic damage if it continues to be the piggy in the middle of a dispute between US energy giant ConocoPhillips and Venezuela’s state oil firm Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA), according to Reuters.

Curacao’s Isla oil refinery could be left with no crude to process said PM Eugene Rhuggenaath if the standoff between the two companies continues.

Houston-based Conoco is trying to seize PDVSA assets worth more the $2 billion following an arbitration award made in its favour by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) over Venezuela’s nationalization of Conoco properties in 2007.

To that end Conoco has been seizing and attempting to seize PDVSA assets on four islands including multimillion barrels of crude that PDVSA stored on the island of St Eustatius and an oil terminal on the island of Bonaire.

As a counter measure, PDVSA has suspended oil storage and shipping from its Caribbean facilities, recalling tankers to Venezuelan waters and concentrating on its principal crude terminal of Jose on the country’s east coast.

The Isla terminal generates 335,000 barrels per day and accounts for 10% of Curacao’s GDP. Curacao is a country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.
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