Sun, 12 Jul 2020

A second Iranian tanker carrying gasoline and oil derivatives has arrived at crisis-stricken Venezuela's main oil refinery, amid escalating tensions between Washington and the two U.S.-sanctioned countries.

The Forest docked at the Paraguana refinery complex in northwest Falcon state on May 26, Oil Minister Tareck El Aissami wrote on Twitter, also sharing photos of the vessel at the dock.

Data from the website Marine Traffic confirmed the location of the ship, which entered Venezuelan waters on May 25.

Unilateral U.S. sanctions have targeted Iran and Venezuela's oil industry and other sectors, depriving Tehran of much-needed cash and adding pressure on Venezuela's badly managed economy.

The Paraguana refinery, the largest in Venezuela and one of the largest in the world, can process 950,000 barrels of fuel per day, but its production has plummeted alongside the country's crude supply.

Falling oil prices since 2014 have aggravated Venezuela's economic crisis.

The price of Venezuelan crude fell to its lowest level in more than two decades last month, at less than $10 a barrel, according to the country's government, after averaging $56.70 last year.

The first tanker, Fortune, had anchored 24 hours earlier at El Palito refinery on Venezuela's northwest coast, which is able to process 140,000 barrels a day.

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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