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PdV switches exports to fob to avoid seizures

11 May 2018 19:53 (+01:00 GMT)
PdV switches exports to fob to avoid seizures

Caracas, 11 May (Argus) — PdV has notified its clients that effective immediately it is designating all its oil exports as fob cargoes as a legal safeguard against potential seizure by US independent ConocoPhillips and other companies filing debt-related actions against the Venezuelan state-owned oil company.

PdV is revising its current supply contracts to ensure all export cargoes will be loaded at PdV's main terminals in Venezuela including Jose and Guaraguao in Anzoategui, and the Cardon and Amuay terminals at its 940,000 b/d CRP refining complex on the Paraguana peninsula, a PdV marketing and supply executive in Caracas said.

PdV also will handle ship-to-ship transfers of crude and products in Venezuelan territorial waters, the executive added.

The Jose and Guaraguao terminals are expected to handle up to 75pc of PdV's crude exports from this week, including nearly 200,000 b/d that were being shipped from its Caribbean terminals before ConocoPhillips filed court liens allowing it to seize PdV assets in Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao and St. Eustatius.

The fob designation means that the title on the exports shifts to the buyer at the Venezuelan terminals, eliminating the risk of seizures. The buyers are responsible for all freight and insurance costs associated with transporting the crude from PdV's terminal to its final port destination.

A local independent tanker broker said PdV's decision to designate exports as fob should give its clients better control of tanker charter, freight and insurance costs.

"Charter, freight and insurance rates theoretically should go down in a more competitive market in which the client can be assured that its own forwarders and brokers will prioritize the client's interests instead of PdV's interests," the local ship broker said.

Some crude exports to China and India normally shipped from PdV's Caribbean terminals and storage facilities on the ABC islands may have to be re-routed to new destinations, including the US, the PdV marketing and supply executive said. But PdV could be forced to offer price discounts to expand its share in other markets with the crude it cannot ship to India and China.

Part of PdV's exports to China goes toward servicing oil-backed debt to Beijing.