The operator of the largest refining complex in the world, Reliance Industries has started selling fuel to Venezuela from Europe and India to go around the sanctions that ban U.S. based companies from selling oil to Iran and Venezuela according to Definitive Eikon data and trading sources.
Reliance had been supplying diluent naphtha, alkylate and other fuel to Venezuela through the company’s U.S. based subsidiary before the United States imposed sanctions in late January banning OPEC members from exporting oil.
Around three vessels have been chartered by the Indian company that have been supplying refined products to Venezuela in the past few weeks. Another vessel that is carrying gas oil is expected to sail to Venezuela as well, according to data and sources.
Reliance is an Indian company controlled by Mukesh Ambani. The conglomerate has plenty of exposure to the financial system of the U.S., where it deals with subsidiaries linked to its telecom and oil businesses as well as other businesses.
The Indian market has turned out to be crucial to the Venezuela economy as it is the second largest customer for the country’s crude, just behind the United States. The United States Prime Minister Donald Trump has already said that additional sanctions against Venezuela might occur in the future. However, the United States has not prevented companies that are not based in the country from buying oil from Venezuela.
Trade data from Refinitv Eikon shows that Reliance shipped a component for motor gasoline known as alkylate to Venezuela on ships called Torm Anabel and Torm Mary in the past few weeks. The vessels originated in India and traveled through the Suez Canal.
The company also shipped a gasoline cargo in a tanker called Torm Troilus. It is planning to send over 35,000 tons of gas oil in a vessel that goes by the name Vukovar to Venezuela.
According to a source, Reliance has also been supplying products from its storage in Rotterdam. The company has not responded to emails looking for a comment. The PDVSA has also not replied to request seeking comment.
Reliance released a statement last week that stated that’s its unit in the United States has stopped all business with PDVSA. The company has also stopped supplying diluents which include heavy naphtha to the South American nation and does not plan on resuming sales until the U.S. sanctions are lifted. Since the impositions of the U.S. sanctions, Venezuela has imported over 160,000 bpd of fuel and diluents according to reports.