Sanctions on Venezuela create tanker snarl-up

Reuters is reporting that sanctions on Venezuela are creating a sizeable tanker traffic jam off the US Gulf coast.

More than 20 tankers loaded with 9.6m barrels of Venezuelan oil have anchored off the US Gulf Coast in the past few days after the US imposed sanctions on the South American nation. Moreover, there are a number of tankers anchored in European and Caribbean waters with Venezuelan cargoes now in limbo, according to data compiled by the newswire.

The US has imposed sanctions on Venezuela’s state-owned oil company Petroleos De Venezuela (PDVSA) in an attempt to starve the regime of Nicolas Maduro of the money he needs to stay in power.

In its latest weekly comment, brokers Alibra suggested the sanctions could help push up tanker freight rates with oil normally bound for the US now likely to move to China and India, upping tonne-mile demand.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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