Chevron Corp has sold a cargo of Venezuelan crude oil to another U.S. refinery, Phillips 66, anonymous sources have said.
Chevron Corp recently sold 500,000 barrels of heavy Hamaca to U.S. refiner Phillips 66 to be used in its Sweeny, Texas refinery, the sources told Bloomberg. It would be the first such sale since the United States sanctioned Venezuela’s crude oil.
In separate news, ConocoPhillips, which spun off its downstream business now known as Phillips 66 back in 2012, has expressed its willingness to sell Venezuela’s crude oil in the United States as a way to claw back some of the $10 billion owed by Venezuela. ConocoPhillips’ Venezuelan assets were nationalized in 2007—along with many other oil companies’ assets. ConocoPhillips has been authorized by the United States to negotiate debt recovery with PDVSA.
Earlier this week, PDVSA assigned a third crude oil cargo to Chevron under the latter’s new license to import sanctioned Venezuelan crude oil after a more than three-year ban.
Venezuela’s heavy crude oil is prized by U.S. refiners, who, until recently, looked to Russia’s heavy crude to replace it. In December, it was reported that several refiners were hitting up Chevron to get their hands on the rare Venezuelan crude oil.
It was originally thought that Chevron could prioritize its own refineries, which have a history of using Venezuela’s heavy crude—and the first delivery of 500,000 barrels of Venezuelan crude oil—also Hamaca crude—did go to its Pascagoula, Mississippi refinery.
Hamaca crude is an extra-heavy, sour blend, and the recent cargoes came from the Petropiar oil JV operated by Chevron and PDVSA.
While Chevron is the only oil company with approval from the U.S. to import crude oil from Venezuela, other oil and gas companies are looking for a similar authorization—including foreign oil and gas companies who are demanding fair treatment.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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