Venezuela state-oil and gas firm Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) has received its first VLCC as it builds up its own shipping fleet.
Two tanker newbuildings, a VLCC and a suezmax, built in China arrived in Venezuela on 4 October. Both vessels are the first in two series of four VLCCs and four suezmaxes the oil company has ordered at Chinese yards and all due to be delivered by next May.
“Never before have we had a vessel of those characteristics in Venezuela,” Petroleum and Mining Minister Rafael Ramirez said as he received the vessels at PDVSA’s Jose Antonio Anzoategui complex in Puerto La Cruz.
“In 2002 we had only 12 ships,” Ramirez, who is also president of PDVSA said. “Now, we operate 81 ships, 54 of them under control of the republic via our own vessels and our mixed enterprises.”
Ramirez said that Venezuela currently exports 640,000 barrels per day to China and 400,000 bpd to India.