CARACAS – After the return of Iranian tanker Forest at the Venezuelan refinery El Palito of Puerto Cabello, Carabobo state, with at least 270,000 barrels of gasoline in full secrecy last week, sources told Reuters on Tuesday that Teheran is getting jet fuel in return, suggesting that shipments between the two nations may be due to excess inventories of the fuel because of the suspension of domestic flights in the South American nation.
“A shipment of around 44 million liters of gasoline has secretly arrived at El Palito, Venezuela from Iran aboard handysize tanker Forest. This is according to our six-week long tracking investigation. Forest is the 3rd tanker we were expecting after Fortune and Faxon,” independent online shipment tracker TankerTrackers posted on its Twitter account on Friday.
Venezuela’s longtime business partner has increased its aid efforts by sending tankers loaded with gasoline in a bid to alleviate the ongoing fuel crisis that has millions of citizens queuing at service stations every day for long hours hoping to fill up their tanks.
One of the sources said that the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) and state-run Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) struck an agreement in 2020 to pay for the Iranian gasoline in exchange for jet fuel, which is sent back to Iran using the same tankers that bring in the gasoline making “perfect journeys” because the vessels always come and go fully loaded with different cargoes.
“Each shipment has a price and is compensated afterward. If there are any differences in value (between the swap shipments), these will be paid in future shipments.”
The Golsam, a tanker that brought supplies for the opening of Iran-based supermarket Megasis in Venezuela a few months ago, also contained a cargo of jet fuel and alumina on its way back to Teheran, the sources concluded.