Poland’s Orlen charters supertanker to transport Venezuelan oil

Polish state energy giant Orlen has provisionally chartered a supertanker to transport Venezuelan oil following a temporary easing of US sanctions on Caracas.

The information was first reported earlier this week by Reuters, which said, citing sources, that Orlen planned to transport the oil to China.

Orlen later confirmed in a statement to Polish broadcaster TVN24 that it has chartered a tanker for Venezuelan oil, but that, under the agreement, the cargo can be delivered to multiple locations.

It added, however, that “the company does not envisage supplying it to any Orlen Group refinery – either in Poland or abroad”.

Orlen, korzystając z tymczasowego zawieszenia sankcji nałożonych na Wenezuelę, pośredniczy w handlu ropą z tego kraju i „wstępnie wyczarterował” supertankowiec w celu załadunku wenezuelskiej ropy naftowej przeznaczonej dla Chin – podał Reuters.https://t.co/ltVz3tZNS9

— TVN24 BiS (@TVN24BiS) November 22, 2023

As reported by Reuters, Orlen has chartered the supertanker after the US Treasury Department last month issued a licence lifting sanctions on Venezuelan oil production and exports until April.

Washington wishes to see progress towards transparent presidential elections in Venezuela planned for next year, as well as the release of political prisoners by 30 November. It said it could reimpose sanctions otherwise.

Reuters, citing its sources, reported that the Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) Olympic Trophy has been chartered for $13 million and is due to be loaded in early December.

Pecunia non olet https://t.co/kjOQ74hqby

— Łukasz Frątczak (@LFratczak) November 22, 2023

Orlen’s press office, in response to questions from TVN24, wrote that it “operates a trading business and, like the world’s leading trading companies and leading oil companies, trades crude from many directions, including the Persian Gulf, the North Sea, the United States and, most recently, Venezuela”.

“The group’s activities are always conducted in accordance with international regulations and take into account applicable sanctions, including those relating to the supply of raw materials,” the company noted.

“We confirm that Orlen Trading Switzerland, Orlen’s trading company, has chartered a tanker for the receipt of Venezuelan crude oil, which is scheduled for December 2023. According to the charter agreement, the cargo can be delivered to multiple locations,” said Orlen.

Following a number of acquisitions in recent years, Orlen this year became one of the biggest 50 European companies by revenue. It is also the largest firm in the Central and Eastern Europe region between Germany and Russia.

Polish state energy giant Orlen has been ranked as 44th largest company in Europe by @FortuneMagazine.

It is the only firm in the region between Germany and Russia to reach the top 50, and also recorded the largest annual revenue growth among those firms https://t.co/GbeyGVFuP7

— Notes from Poland 🇵🇱 (@notesfrompoland) November 9, 2023

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Main image credit: Darren B Hillman / flickr.com (under CC BY-ND 2.0 DEED)

Alicja Ptak is senior editor at Notes from Poland and a multimedia journalist. She previously worked for Reuters.

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