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Spain, Italy, Russia come to Maduro's rescue

Something quite extraordinary happened upon arrest of Alex Saab in Cape Verde: all the shells that had been lifting most of PDVSA crude (Libre Abordo, Proton SL, Schlager Business Group, Delta LLC) disappeared suddenly from shipping schedules. That tells the crucial role that Saab has in keeping PDVSA trading running. But Spain's Repsol and Italy's ENI, which in turn had nearly disappeared when Saab took over from Rosneft, are increasing their lifting activities. In June, Repsol was due to lift three cargoes (Delta Med, Delta Atlantica, Delta Star), while ENI was to lift two (Delta Captain, Delta Tolmi).

It is quite clear that Repsol and ENI aren't bothered by Treasury sanctions. It is unclear whether Treasury has granted these companies a special license. Consulted industry experts and intelligence sources do not know whether such arrangement between Treasury, Repsol and ENI exists.

In the latest line up, a vessel called SIERRA (IMO: 9147447), owned by Russia's Novograin LTD according to TankerTrackers, is due to lift 700,000 barrels of Hamaca on behalf of Delta LLC. Now there's a couple Delta LLCs in Russia, there's another in the Ukraine, so it is unclear who's the UBO here. What is perfectly clear is that Russian entities are, yet again, active in PDVSA's trading.



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