Caracas (The Times Groupe)- Refinitiv Eikon data showed on Friday that Eni (ENI.MI), with a 650,000-barrel cargo of Venezuelan oil in tow, is about to sail with the first export of crude oil from the U.S.-sanctioned country to Europe in two years.
In May, the U.S. State Department authorized Eni and Repsol (REP.MC) to resume taking Venezuelan crude to settle billions of dollars in debt and dividends owed by the OPEC member nation.
According to Eikon data and a shipping document seen by Reuters, a second tanker chartered by Eni, Pantanassa, is currently en route to Venezuela and is expected to load 2 million barrels of the same grade, diluted crude oil (DCO), and take it to Europe.
Sources and documents indicate Venezuela’s state-owned PDVSA will deliver that cargo later this month, with an option for Eni to sell a portion of the crude to Spain’s Repsol (REP.MC) for its Cartagena and Bilbao refineries.
The Malta-flagged Pantanassa will load via ship-to-ship transfer near Venezuela’s Amuay port, according to the documents.
PDVSA, Repsol and Eni did not immediately reply to requests for comment.
In May, Venezuela’s oil exports plunged to the lowest level in 19 months due to a contract change implemented by PDVSA to switch most spot sales to prepayments, reducing the risk of unpaid cargoes. Changes to swap deals and debt payment agreements did not affect customers.
Since the government of then US President Donald Trump suspended oil swaps used for exchanging Venezuelan oil for fuel and debt payments, European, Asian and United States companies with joint ventures with PDVSA in Venezuela, including Eni, Repsol, Chevron (CVX.N), ONGC Ltd (ONGC.NS), and Maurel & Prom (MAUP.PA), have accumulated billions of dollars in pending debt.