The tangled story of the oil cargo at the heart of the dispute began a year ago, when PDVSA sent 550,000 barrels of crude oil to St. Eustatius on tanker NS Columbus rented coming from Sovcomflot. The oil had been sold to Norway’s Statoil, which planned to retrieve in which at Statia.
Before in which could get there, Sovcomflot had a St. Maarten court freeze the delivery in hopes of collecting partial payment for shipping fees unpaid by PDVSA. 5 months after crossing the Caribbean, the court ordered the tanker to discharge its cargo at Statia.
Trafigura’s attempts to obtain the oil first were delayed due to force majeure declared by NuStar due to Hurricane Irma, along with later over the unpaid bills between PDVSA along with NuStar.
“We are facing a delay within the payment for the use of such facilities along with related services contracted there. PDVSA can be doing its best to catch up with outstanding debts, although has not made any special arrangements to cover the storage costs of the relevant tank,” a PDVSA official wrote in an email in October.
The PDVSA official explained in which “since June no payment has been made to NuStar,” although also said in which a payment schedule was proposed to the U.S. firm in a meeting in September in Caracas, that has a first installment of $2.3 million planned for October.
According to the schedule, 10 percent of the accumulated debt was to be paid coming from October through December, that has a one-time additional payment due in January along with the remainder paid off through 10-percent monthly installments.
PDVSA has not yet paid the October installment, according to a PDVSA source, prompting NuStar’s refusal to load.
In a memorandum to PDVSA’s finance chief, Simon Zerpa, the oil company’s trade along with supply department warned further payment delay to NuStar could result in possible tanker embargoes, broken supply contracts with Caribbean customers along that has a shortage of fuels for Venezuela’s domestic market.
within the September meeting, PDVSA suggested in which could terminate a related contract with NuStar for fuel oil tanks rental along with sublease a portion of its Statia storage to an undisclosed firm as a way to reduce further debts.
NuStar countered in which PDVSA could pay off the debt with oil, or by allowing in which to become a partner within the state-run company’s terminal on the island of Bonaire along that has a partial payment to show Great faith.
in which can be unclear if any agreement on topics different than the payment schedule was reached.