Venezuela will ship fuel to Cuba on a supertanker sanctioned by US

Tanker Nolan (IMO 9179701) has been deployed by the Venezuelan state-run oil company PDVSA to carry crude oil and fuel to Cuba, which is in the middle of an energy crisis, causing frequent power cuts to all parts of the island, reports Reuters.

The Nolan is owned by Nigeria-based Thomarose Global Ventures Ltd, and was sanctioned in November 2022 by the US Treasury Department under accusations of being part of an international oil smuggling network that facilitated oil trades for Hezbollah and Iran’s Quds Force.

Oddly, the vessel self-reported as being underway off the West African coast on March 7th, en route from Lanshan, China, to Luanda, Angola.

Reuters reported that the Nolan this week was loading 400,000 barrels of fuel oil for power generation at Venezuela’s Jose terminal. It also will load 1.13m barrels of Venezuelan heavy oil, according to internal PDVSA shipping documents seen by Reuters. The vessel is due to sail later this month.

The Nolan will sail for Matanzas, Cuba, one of the documents showed, where Cuban state companies have been discharging imports by transferring cargoes to smaller vessels through ship-to-ship operations. Mantazas, which was Cuba’s largest port for crude and fuel imports, suffered a five-day fire last August after lightning struck a storage tank. That fire destroyed four of the eight crude oil tanks. Matanzas is also the only port in Cuba capable of handling tankers of more than 100,000 dwt.

Venezuela has had its own fuel crisis, so Venezuela’s oil supplies to Cuba last year fell by about 6% to 53,600 bpd.

The tanker has not sent a signal from its transponder since mid-December while in Venezuela, according to Refinitiv Eikon vessel monitoring data.

2000-built, Panama-flagged, 157,814 gt Nolan is owned by Pontus Navigation Corp care of manager Thomarose Global Ventures Ltd of Effurun, Nigeria.