An anonymous source has confirmed that Chevron Corp sold a cargo of Venezuelan crude to Phillips 66 in the United States.
According to Bloomberg, Chevron Corp sold 500,000 barrels heavy Hamaca to Phillips 66, an American refiner. The oil will be used at its Sweeny, Texas, refinery. This would be the first sale of Venezuelan crude oil since sanctions were lifted by the United States.
Separately, ConocoPhillips has indicated its willingness to sell Venezuelan crude oil to the United States to recoup some of the $10 million Venezuela owes. ConocoPhillips Venezuelan assets, along with other assets of oil companies, were nationalized by the United States in 2007. The United States has authorized ConocoPhillips to negotiate debt recovery agreements with PDVSA.
PDVSA gave a third crude oil shipment to Chevron earlier this week under its new license to import Venezuelan crude oil sanctioned by the latter after a three-year ban.
The U.S. has long prized Venezuela’s heavy crude oil. Until recently, they had looked to Russia for heavy crude to replace them. It was reported in December that Chevron was visited by several refiners looking for rare Venezuelan crude oil.
Chevron was initially thought to be able to prioritize its own refineries. These refineries have a history using Venezuela’s heavy crude. The first shipment of 500,000 barrels Venezuelan crude oil, also Hamaca crude, did go to the Pascagoula refinery in Mississippi.
Hamaca crude oil is a heavy, sour mix. The recent cargoes were shipped from the Petropiar oil JV, which was 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.