US sanctions leave stranded Venezuelan oil cargoes on 21 tankers

A total of 21 tankers, loaded with 9.6m barrels of Venezuelan oil, remain anchored off the US Gulf Coast as a result of the imposed US sanctions on Venezuelan state-owned oil company PDVSA.

Some buyers had purchased the cargoes ahead of the announcement  and are now using the vessels as floating storage. Others are working out how to pay under the new rules, reported Reuters.

It remained unclear what would happen to several other Venezuelan cargoes that are anchored off Europe and in the Caribbean, as well as others en route to EU countries including Italy, Sweden and the Netherlands.

Venezuelan cargoes bound for Europe totalled 1.9m barrels; 9.6m barrels to the Americas and 1.5m barrels were loaded onto the supertanker Ayacucho, with an as-yet unknown destination.