Iranian tanker Forest arrived “in secret” at El Palito with 270 thousand barrels of fuel

(Courtesy photo)

In secret. This was the arrival at the El Palito refinery, in Puerto Cabello, of the Iranian tanker Forest, loaded with at least 270 thousand barrels of fuel, equivalent to approximately 44 million litersreported tanketrackers.com, an independent hydrocarbon storage and shipment tracking service.

“A shipment of around 44 million liters of gasoline secretly arrived in El Palito, Venezuela, from Iran, aboard the Forest tanker. This is according to our investigation of six weeks of follow-up”Tanketrackers.com posted on Twitter this Saturday, February 20.

With the arrival of this ship to the coast of Carabobo, the third shipment of fuel made by the Persian nation to aid the government of Nicolás Maduro in nine months is completed. According to reports, three weeks ago the tankers Faxon and Fortune arrived in Puerto La Cruz, also of Iranian flag, whose cargo amounts to about 400 thousand barrels.

The welcome of this third flotilla stayed completely low profile by the Madurista authorities, unlike the first dispatch that occurred between May and June last year, when five Iranian tankers transported 1,500,000 barrels of fuel to Venezuela: 830,000 barrels more than received this year.

According to tanketrackers.com, the AIS transponder on board the Forest, an instrument that permanently transmits the identity, position, speed and heading of the ship, has been off since December 11, 2020, when the tanker loaded gasoline in Iran. “Then he left for Venezuela a week later. We have watched him closely during the trip ”.

The practice of traveling with AIS transponders turned off has become one of the most used mechanisms by Venezuela and Iran, both sanctioned by the United States, to maintain the constant exchange of hydrocarbons since last year, evading US sanctions.

Three weeks ago

Between January 30 and February 1, the tracking service revealed that the ships Faxon and Fortune were already anchored at the Guaraguao dock, Puerto La Cruz. “Unlike previous deliveries, these two gasoline shipments (that of Faxon and Fortune) were done in an opaque way most likely because the common citizen is not the intended recipient”Tanketrackers.com said three weeks ago.

Currently the Carabobeña refinery is paralyzed due to the deep deterioration of its facilities and, according to official spokesmen, it would start again at the end of April. However, if it were 100% operational, in just five days it could produce the total of this third dispatch of fuel sent by Iran, since its installed capacity is around 140 thousand barrels per day (bpd).

For its part, the Cardón refinery in Falcón restarted gasoline and diesel production on January 31 after divers repaired a broken crude supply pipeline that runs under Lake Maracaibo, he explained. Argus. This allows you produce 46 thousand bpd of combined gasoline, including 22,000 bpd from its 86,000 bpd fluid catalytic cracker (FCC) and 24,000 bpd from its 54,000 bpd naphtha reformer.

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