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BREAKING: Tracor Trading gets PDVSA crude for $0.01

Check background here. In short, vessels Kitakaze (IMO 9221918) and Mirame (IMO 9227948) lifted about 3.8 million barrels of PDVSA crude in late December / early January. Tracor Trading Company Limited is shown in PDVSA's line up as final client. It is unclear what crude Kitakaze lifted, but Mirame loaded crude produced by PDVSA - Rosneft joint venture Petromonagas. Accounting data seen by this site, related to Kitakaze, shows 1,847,762 barrels of Merey were booked in PDVSA's SAP invoicing system for a value of $18,477.62. That is, $0.01 per barrel.

PDVSA is a majority partner of international energy corporations in various joint ventures. PetroMonagas is just one such venture, where Rosneft has a 40% stake. Rosneft has loaned considerable amounts to PDVSA over the years. It remains unknown how much PDVSA still owes Rosneft. It is perfectly legitimate for Rosneft to recoup principal, however it makes no sense to produce invoices where commercial value of crude is booked at $0.01 per barrel. At this rate, PDVSA will never clear outstanding debt to Rosneft. Ever. The only way to keep track is with correct invoicing. Invoice number 128384811 and Bill of Lading for Kitakaze's cargo were produced on 29 December.

Unfortunately, Tracor Trading is not the only one getting this kind of deal. Tanker Yong Le (formerly Carabobo, IMO 9623257), loaded 1,872,540 barrels of crude on 25 December, which were also invoiced at $0.01, on behalf of Cirrostrati Technology Co Ltd. Like Tracor, Cirrostrati has all the hallmarks of being a shell that exists only in PDVSA documents. Only difference is Tracor seems to be linked to Rosneft and Cirrostrati to China.

Carabobo was part of a small fleet of tankers that belonged to CV Shipping PTE. LTD, a PDVSA / PetroChina joint venture. As reported earlier, CV Shipping Pte filed a winding up order on 28 February 2020. Vessel records show Carabobo Shipping Pte Ltd as Carabobo's registered owner (Care of SPC Shipping Pte Ltd). Reuters reported in August 2020 that Venezuela had lost control of Carabobo to its Chinese partner.

There has got to be some kind of value transfer somewhere in these trades. Someone must be keeping track of value, whether it is for debt repayment purpose or otherwise. It is impossible to entertain the notion that PDVSA is just giving crude away for free. Whether is inflated transport costs, double invoicing, barter... someone, whether Tareck el Aisami, Nicolas Maduro, Cilia Flores, Jorge Rodriguez or Diosdado Cabello, is benefiting from these "valueless" deals that help PDVSA evade U.S. Treasury sanctions.

As usual, the interests of the Venezuelan people, real losers here, are not defended by any politician. 

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