• Friday, May 24, 2024
businessday logo


Venezuela ships first crude mixed with Algerian oil to China


Venezuela is sending its first shipment of crude mixed with Algerian light oil to China, according to state oil company PDVSA and traders.

Venezuela recently started importing Saharan Blend from Algerian state-run Sonatrach to dilute its extra heavy crude from the Orinoco oil belt. PDVSA had previously imported costlier naphtha to use as a diluent.

The Carabobo supertanker carrying 1.8 million barrels of Merey heavy crude will arrive in China in 46 days, PDVSA said in a statement.

The Merey blend using Algerian oil fetches Venezuela $20 dollars more per barrel than crude mixed with imported naphtha, according to Foreign Minister Rafael Ramirez.

READ ALSO: The changing geopolitics of energy: America’s domination of oil and gas will not cow China

The OPEC country’s oil ports are struggling to load and unload cargoes on time due to an increase in fuel imports prompted by trouble at PDVSA’s 1.3 million-barrel-per-day domestic refining network.

Venezuela, which has the world’s largest crude reserves, has steadily increased its commercial and financial ties with China, to whom it ships around 600,000 bpd of oil, much of it part of an oil-for-financing agreement.