Reuters reported yesterday: "Brazilian investigators said on Friday a Greek-flagged ship carrying Venezuelan crude was the source of oil tarring Brazil’s coastline over the past two months..." It goes on to claim "A federal police document seen by Reuters said the tanker, Bouboulina, owned by Greece’s Delta Tankers Ltd, appears to have spilled the crude about 700 km (420 miles) off Brazil’s coast around July 28-29, after loading the oil at Venezuela’s Jose terminal." PDVSA shipping sources have leaked information to this site that clarifies -at the very least- speculation as to type of Venezuelan crude carried by that tanker (Merey), and owner of that cargo: Rosneft Trading SA.
PDVSA internal shipping documents seen by this site show that tanker Bouboulina first appeared in offtake information on 9 July, due to load 1,000,000 barrels of Merey at Jose's refinery East dock. ROSNEFT TRADING SA is described as client of that cargo, bound for Shandong port in China. Bouboulina was reported as loading -after some operational maintenance of dock's loading arms- on 13-14 July.
It makes little sense to drop oil in the middle of the ocean, unless due to accidents, for instance a ship-to-ship operation gone wrong. It is unclear whether Bouboulina had run into problems. Rosneft is unlikely to provide any clarity on any issue involving its dodgy operations with PDVSA in Venezuela.
UPDATE: a consulted source in Brazil claims no one really knows why police investigators concluded tanker Bouboulina is the one involved in oil spill.
UPDATE II: TankersTrackers claims no STS took place along route near Brazil:
The vessel name which has been circulating by the media is BOUBOULINA (IMO 9298753), and we can rule out a sloppy STS transfer as this vessel never stopped along the way in the Atlantic. Issue seems to be related to the ballast water tank oil filter, according to NYC inspection. pic.twitter.com/GRO8DHQAEe
— TankerTrackers.com, Inc.⚓️? (@TankerTrackers) November 2, 2019