Venezuela has completed offloading more than 1 million barrels of crude from the floating storage and offloading facility (FSO) Nabarima which has been immobilized and anchored in the Gulf of Paria in the northeastern part of the country’s waters since January 2019.
Reuters said in a report Friday that this paves the way for output to resume in an oilfield, according to an official of the facility’s operator.
Operations to remove crude from the FSO, anchored in the eastern Gulf of Paria near the maritime border with Trinidad and Tobago, started in December. The crude had been stored there since 2019 when the United States imposed sanctions on Venezuela.
The Nabarima is part of the Petrosucre joint venture between Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA and Italy’s Eni that operates the Corocoro offshore oil field.
It suffered mechanical problems last year that caused it to tilt, raising complaints from environmental groups in Trinidad and Brazil. “@Petrosucre1 successfully completed FSO Nabarima’s total crude offload operations to advance oil production in the offshore field in the Gulf of Paria,” tweeted Petrosucre President Joe Romero.
PDVSA and Eni did not immediately reply to a request for comment. PDVSA is struggling to carry out maintenance and repairs at its facilities due to a chronic cash-flow shortage, which has been aggravated by U.S. sanctions.
Eni and PDVSA previously sold the crude produced by Petrosucre to the Venezuelan-owned refining company Citgo. But the supply contract was halted by the sanctions two years ago, leaving the project inactive and the crude stranded in the Nabarima.