According to the agency, transponders that signal their location are turned off for oil tankers.
In the first 11 days of November, Venezuela loaded 10.86 million barrels of crude oil onto tankers, which is more than double the volume for the same period in October. About half of these barrels were loaded onto ships with transponders disabled and later delivered to China and India, Bloomberg notes. According to the agency, 2 million barrels of oil were shipped to one of the Venezuelan tankers (Dragon, flying the flag of Liberia), according to the contract with the Russian company Rosneft. Now he stands in the Venezuelan port of José, although, according to the latest GPS signal, he should be located off the coast of France.
Rosneft Bloomberg reported that the company and its RTSA subsidiary did not charter vessels in this supply chain. In Venezuela, the company operates in accordance with international law and under contracts signed long before the imposition of US sanctions, the company emphasized. Rosneft did not comment on the situation with the transponders being turned off. The representative of Dynacom Tankers Management, which owns the Dragon tanker, also did not comment on the information about disabling transponders. He noted that since January 2019, none of their courts have participated in contracts with organizations that are under U.S. sanctions. The company also noted that it never violated the terms of US sanctions against Venezuela.
As a result of the economic crisis and sanctions, Venezuelan oil production fell to its lowest level since the 1940s. Now it is less than 700,000 barrels per day, according to the Financial Times. As a result, Venezuela earns $ 250 million per month on oil exports, compared with an average of $ 5.3 billion per month on average in 2005–2014. Due to fear of violating US sanctions, many countries and companies do not want to buy Venezuelan oil and transport. Under these conditions, Venezuela is largely dependent on Rosneft, which helps it by supplying its oil to China and India, FT wrote.