ANL 34.80 Increased By ▲ 0.80 (2.35%)
ASC 14.45 Decreased By ▼ -0.45 (-3.02%)
ASL 23.30 Decreased By ▼ -1.80 (-7.17%)
AVN 90.10 Decreased By ▼ -2.10 (-2.28%)
BOP 8.98 Decreased By ▼ -0.16 (-1.75%)
BYCO 9.45 Decreased By ▼ -0.40 (-4.06%)
DGKC 127.15 Decreased By ▼ -7.55 (-5.61%)
EPCL 47.30 Decreased By ▼ -3.32 (-6.56%)
FCCL 23.89 Decreased By ▼ -0.74 (-3%)
FFBL 25.09 Decreased By ▼ -0.77 (-2.98%)
FFL 14.80 Decreased By ▼ -0.69 (-4.45%)
HASCOL 10.39 Decreased By ▼ -0.17 (-1.61%)
HUBC 83.80 Decreased By ▼ -2.53 (-2.93%)
HUMNL 6.65 Decreased By ▼ -0.37 (-5.27%)
JSCL 25.15 Decreased By ▼ -0.50 (-1.95%)
KAPCO 40.26 Decreased By ▼ -1.29 (-3.1%)
KEL 3.93 Decreased By ▼ -0.09 (-2.24%)
LOTCHEM 14.10 Decreased By ▼ -0.35 (-2.42%)
MLCF 44.00 Decreased By ▼ -2.42 (-5.21%)
PAEL 34.90 Decreased By ▼ -2.35 (-6.31%)
PIBTL 11.25 Decreased By ▼ -0.45 (-3.85%)
POWER 9.78 Decreased By ▼ -0.47 (-4.59%)
PPL 90.00 Decreased By ▼ -0.90 (-0.99%)
PRL 25.72 Decreased By ▼ -1.14 (-4.24%)
PTC 8.60 Decreased By ▼ -0.11 (-1.26%)
SILK 1.29 Decreased By ▼ -0.06 (-4.44%)
SNGP 39.87 Decreased By ▼ -2.84 (-6.65%)
TRG 143.00 Decreased By ▼ -3.10 (-2.12%)
UNITY 30.73 Increased By ▲ 0.53 (1.75%)
WTL 1.37 Decreased By ▼ -0.04 (-2.84%)
BR100 4,836 Decreased By ▼ -128.86 (-2.6%)
BR30 24,973 Decreased By ▼ -780.65 (-3.03%)
KSE100 45,051 Decreased By ▼ -786.3 (-1.72%)
KSE30 18,871 Decreased By ▼ -303.1 (-1.58%)
Markets

Iran's fuel reaches Venezuelan stations, fifth tanker headed to Caribbean

As authorities in the country - which had enjoyed the world's cheapest gasoline for two decades - prepare to expand
30 May 2020
  • As authorities in the country - which had enjoyed the world's cheapest gasoline for two decades - prepare to expand retail sales.
  • Of 1,800 stations in Venezuela, about 240 have remained working since President Nicolas Maduro announced coronavirus-related lockdown measures in March.
  • "I was told they are filling stations with gasoline today," said Alex Chirinos, a 36-year old taxi driver lining up at a station in Maracay.

CARACAS/MARACAY, VENEZUELA: Venezuela's state-run oil company PDVSA began supplying the nation's stations on Saturday with fuel provided by ally Iran as drivers wait anxiously for the gasoline to be sold, according to four sources involved in the distribution.

As authorities in the country - which had enjoyed the world's cheapest gasoline for two decades - prepare to expand retail sales, the fifth cargo of Iran's five-vessel flotilla heads to the Caribbean Sea and is expected to reach Venezuelan waters on Sunday, according to Refinitiv Eikon data.

Of 1,800 stations in Venezuela, about 240 have remained working since President Nicolas Maduro announced coronavirus-related lockdown measures in March, which included restrictions on fuel sales due to very low inventories.

A new fuel distribution plan not yet detailed officially is expected to include 1,540 stations nationwide. Wholesale supply began on Saturday in several regions, following tests earlier this week aimed at implementing automated retail sales and control systems starting in early June, the sources said.

Lines of drivers began forming at stations in cities including Maracay, Valencia and Caracas.

"I was told they are filling stations with gasoline today," said Alex Chirinos, a 36-year old taxi driver lining up at a station in Maracay.

It remained unclear whether the plan will include a price hike and how long the 1.5 million barrels of Iranian fuel arriving will last. Gasoline has been heavily subsidized in Venezuela for more than 20 years, but acute scarcity has recently encouraged a black market forcing people to pay at least $2 per liter.

PDVSA and Venezuela's Energy Ministry did not reply to requests for comment.

Venezuela's refineries, which can produce over 1.3 million barrels per day (bpd) of fuel, have worked at less than 20% of their capacity in 2020 mainly due to power outages and lack of spare parts.

As US sanctions imposed on PDVSA since 2019 have also limited the sources and types of products Venezuela can import, Maduro's administration this year resorted to Iran for refining components and fuel.

The supply has been criticized by the United States as both nations are under sanctions.

Washington has warned governments, seaports, shipping firms and insurers that they could face sanctions if they aid the Iranian supply, US special envoy for Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, said on Friday.

Venezuela's Foreign minister Jorge Arreaza, who accuses US President Donald Trump of being responsible for the fuel crisis, said late on Friday that his government will use Abrams' comments as proof in a case against sanctions at the International Criminal Court.