PDVSA payment problems leave millions of barrels of BP crude in limbo

PDVSA payment problems leave millions of barrels of BP crude in limbo

Four oil tankers are waiting outside the Caribbean island of Curacao, unable to come in and discharge their loads totalling 2 million barrels of crude, because the purchaser, Venezuela’s state oil firm PDVSA, has not paid the supplier BP, according to Reuters.

Venezuela’s economy is in a tailspin and social unrest is growing as failed policies of the socialist government are compounded by the lengthy drop-off in the price of oil, the country’s most important industry.

Venezuela requires West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude, such as what BP was providing, so it can dilute its own extra-heavy crudes.

Last December there was a backlog of tankers at several Venezuelan ports because of a dispute over prepayment contracts between PDVSA and oil suppliers.

In March this year PDVSA denied reports of very big backlogs of ships at its main port of Jose. Those delays were said to be caused by equipment problems.

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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