Valero takes Venezuelan crude in February
Houston, 28 April (Argus) — US independent refiner Valero received crude from Venezuela in February, adding to the list of US refineries that are absorbing volumes from the South American supplier.
Valero processed roughly 8,500 b/d of 10.3°API Venezuelan crude at its 290,000 b/d Bill Greehey Refinery in Corpus Christi, Texas, in February, according to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Additionally, a Panamax-sized tanker carrying Venezuelan crude arrived in March at the refinery, according to ship tracking firm Vortexa. Another Venezuelan crude-laden tanker arrived at Valero’s 215,000 b/d St Charles refinery in Norco, Louisiana, the same month.
Vortexa data suggests Valero received more crude supplies from Venezuela in April. The Berica and Caribbean Voyager departed the Jose Igancio port in Venezuela and were signaled to have arrived at the St Charles refinery around 5 and 25 April, respectively.
In a recent earnings call, Valero said Venezuelan crude deliveries will grow and more of Chevron’s production will make the journey to the US Gulf coast.
Valero now joins the ranks of US oil major Chevron and refiner Phillips 66 which received a combined 50,000 b/d in February, up from the 40,000 b/d of Venezuelan crude received in January.
Late last year, the US loosened sanctions on Venezuela and allowed Chevron to import Venezuelan crude to the US and sell cargoes from its joint ventures with Venezuelan state-owned PDV.
Before imports of Venezuelan crude to the US started this year, the last time the US received crude from Venezuela was in May 2019, with the arrival of around 11,000 b/d that month, according to EIA data.
By Giovann Rosales