Plans for the acquisition of tankers for the export of oil from Venezuela
According to the newspaper "Kommersant" in the material "Oil of increased flotation. The Russian government is looking for ways to export raw materials from Venezuela, ” the Russian government may support the export of oil from Venezuela, which is under US sanctions. For example, Russian insurers can provide vessels of the Russian-Venezuelan Transoceania with coverage of up to $ 300 million, and Promsvyazbank can provide a loan of $ 80 million for two more tankers to the existing Ayacucho, which in June changed its name to Maxim Gorky., and the flag - in Russian. These vessels will at least be able to export oil from the Russian-owned fields in Venezuela. The co-owner of Transoceania, already under the Sovfrakht sanctions, may become a single logistic operator of sea transportation between the Russian Federation and the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.
Kommersant has learned that the fleet of the Russian-Venezuelan company Transoceania, which operates the former Venezuelan tanker Ayacucho (now Maksim Gorky ), which has passed under the Russian flag , may be replenished with two more tankers. According to the interlocutors of Kommersant, the government is discussing the possibility of instructing Promsvyazbank to issue a targeted loan of up to € 80 million for such a purchase. The ships themselves, the proceeds from bareboat charter contracts, as well as the oil transported can become collateral for the transaction, sources say ”. According to them, the issue is supervised by Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov. The deputy prime minister's office and Promsvyazbank did not provide comments.
That the tanker Ayacuchodeadweight of 320.8 thousand tons (VLCC class) was re-registered in the Russian register since June and under the Russian flag, drew RBC's attention on September 18. The vessel was built in 2013 at the Chinese shipyard Bohai Shipbuilding and was owned by the Singaporean joint venture CV Shipping, owned by PDVSA and the Chinese state-owned company PetroChina.
According to Reuters, after the imposition of US sanctions against the PDVSA, international insurers withdrew the coverage of ships, PetroChina initiated the bankruptcy of the joint venture, as a result of which Ayacucho remained with the Venezuelan side and went under its flag.
At the end of May, PDVSA handed the vessel over to the Venezuelan National Institute of Water Management (INEA), and after another tightening of US sanctions, the tanker was registered in the Big Port of St. Petersburg. Now it is managed by Transoceania, a joint venture of INEA and Sovfrakhta, which has been under US sanctions on the Crimean package since 2016. "Maxim Gorky" was last recorded in the AIS system on October 2 and was near Reunion, en route with a cargo from Venezuela to Southeast Asia. Reuters reported that the tanker could get up for repairs at one of the shipyards in China.
According to Kommersant's sources, an order from the President of the Russian Federation may be prepared to insure all Transoceania sea vessels in the Crimean First Insurance Company (they did not answer Kommersant), after which the fleet will be reinsured in the Russian National Reinsurance Company (there declined to comment). The insurance coverage will be up to $ 300 million, Kommersant sources say. As a single operator of sea transportation between the Russian Federation and the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, Kommersant's interlocutors add, the state company will offer Sovfrakht (they declined to comment).
A Kommersant source in the insurance market explains that, given the sanctions imposed on the Venezuelan government and Sovfrakht, it would be impossible to insure Maxim Gorky and the future Transoceania fleet in other countries - most likely, it already has or there will be a red mark in Lloyd's system. Insurance coverage of $ 300 million is the minimum limit for compliance with international conventions, it is not enough to meet the basic requirements of most of the world's major water areas, where the amount of liability for such vessels reaches $ 1 billion, says the source of Kommersant.
Most likely, tankers will operate in narrow waters (that is, not in the busiest ports) and carry Russian cargo, he believes, calling the decision "political and absolutely correct in terms of protecting interests and minimizing risks."
The Russian government owns oil producing assets in Venezuela, which were transferred to the state from Rosneft in March. The oil company last disclosed that in 2018 its production in Venezuela amounted to about 2.7 million tons of oil, but since then, the total production in the country under the influence of US sanctions has dropped almost fourfold, to 359 thousand barrels per day in the third quarter. 2020 year. It is not known how much production at the former assets of Rosneft dropped during this time.
The main consumers of Venezuela's oil after the imposition of sanctions were China and India, but they also reduce purchases. In Latin America and the Caribbean, Cuba has historically been the main recipient of Venezuelan oil: until 2015, supplies were 100,000 barrels per day, but in 2019 they fell by half, according to Argus. Cuba has a refinery called Cienfuegos (owned by the local state-owned company CUPET), which can process more than 3 million tons of oil per year, but is currently underutilized. Cuba faces a chronic fuel shortage due to declining supplies from Venezuela. Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov is the co-chairman of intergovernmental commissions with both Venezuela and Cuba.