IMAGE: Iranian supertanker “Honey” seen docked recently at Venezuela’s José Terminal. (Source: TankerTrackers.com)
US moves against ships accused of doing business with Iran and/or Venezuela have not stopped efforts by Iranian tankers to operate. Iranian supertanker Honey is, according to a shipping report, loading Venezuela’s top grade of exportable crude, with an eye toward exporting the crude to Asian countries.
This would be a huge relief for Venezuela, as US threats have kept most of the world afraid to try to trade in Venezuelan crude. Iran is under so many threats at this point that it probably doesn’t register as an additional concern for them.
In trading in Venezuelan crude, importers can probably expect to buy at a somewhat below market price, either for direct use or by some company which intends to re-export while hiding the oil’s original origin.
The Trump Administration has seized ships, sanctioned ships, and in some cases claimed the right to auction off the seized cargo on the tankers and keep the money. All of that is a risk, but again it’s a risk that the Iranians face routinely.
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