Chevron-Booked Ship Laden With Venezuelan Crude Sails to US
Comment of the Day

January 11 2023

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Chevron-Booked Ship Laden With Venezuelan Crude Sails to US

This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

The Aframax Sealeo is on its way to the US after receiving Venezuelan crude in a ship transfer off Aruba, according to ship-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg. 

Sealeo received Hamaca crude oil from tanker Caribbean Voyager in a ship-to-ship transfer ~Monday

Caribbean Voyager loaded ~500k bbl Hamaca ~Jan. 6 at the Venezuelan government-controlled port of Jose

Sealeo signals Pascagoula, Mississippi, as destination; Pascagoula is the site of the Chevron Pascagoula refinery, a facility designed to process heavy sulfurous oil like the types produced by Venezuela

Cargo is first to sail to US after the country eased sanctions against Venezuela in November

Last time US received Venezuelan crude was in May 2019 when Motiva Port Arthur refinery in Texas took ~350k bbl of Diluted Crude Oil: AHOY data compiled by Bloomberg

Other Chevron tankers sailing to/from Venezuela:

Kerala, which loaded 250k-300k bbl Boscan crude for Chevron, is currently anchored off Lake Maracaibo awaiting orders

UACC Eagle, which is bringing ~620.4k bbl of US heavy naphtha to Venezuela, is currently moored at the port of Jose to discharge.

Eoin Treacy's view

The less remarked upon result of the shale oil revolution is it is predominately Texas light sweet. Most of the refining capacity on the Gulf coast is set up to handle heavy crude; mostly from Canada and Venezuela.

The loss of Venezuelan supply was a significant blow to the refining sector but the rebound in refined product prices rescued them. Marathon Petroleum remains in a consistent medium-term uptrend but needs to hold the $110 area if that is to remain the case.

Valero is firming from the region of the 200-day MA as it consolidates in the region of the 2018 peak.

The caveat is oil prices need to hold their recent lows if the refiners are to continue to enjoy outsized margins.

The reopening of Venezuelan supply is an example of how supply chains are being altered by the war in Ukraine. Scorpio Tankers rebounded yesterday. It will need to continue to hold that low if a mild consolidation is to be given the benefit of the doubt.

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