CARACAS, Apr 8 (Reuters) – State-owned Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) has completed the unloading of crude that had been stored in a floating facility on the country’s eastern coast since the United States imposed sanctions on it in 2019, an official from the oil company. PDVSA began transferring crude in December from the Nabarima floating storage and offloading facility (FSO), anchored in the Gulf of Paria near the maritime border with Trinidad and Tobago, to the barge Inmaculada. Later, the ship transported the crude to various tankers operated by PDVSA. The Nabarima, which is part of the Petrosucre joint venture between PDVSA and the Italian Eni that operates the Corocoro offshore oil field, had been intervened several times since last year due to mechanical problems that caused its inclination, which according to experts increased the risk of spills.

Following complaints from environmental groups in Trinidad and Brazil, PDVSA had ruled out the possibility of oil leaks.

“@ Petrosucre1 successfully completes FSO Nabarima’s total crude offload operations to advance oil production from the offshore field in the Gulf of Paria. We keep winning!” Wrote Petrosucre president Joe Romero.

Along with the tweet, the executive released photos of the workers in full swing and of the oil installation.

PDVSA and Eni did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The Venezuelan state oil company faces cash flow problems that were aggravated by the United States sanctions, which have prevented it from carrying out maintenance and corrective repairs in a large part of its facilities, increasing the risks and accident rates.

Eni and PDVSA sold the crude produced by Petrosucre to PDVSA’s US subsidiary, Citgo Petroleum. The supply contract was interrupted two years ago by Washington’s measures, leaving the project inactive and the crude stranded in the Nabarima.

(Report by Marianna Párraga in Mexico City and Deisy Buitrago in Caracas. Edited by Mayela Armas)

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