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HomeEconomyExclusive-Maroil takes over most of Venezuela's petcoke trade

Exclusive-Maroil takes over most of Venezuela's petcoke trade

Marianna Parraga and Sudarshan Varadhan

HOUSTON/CHENNAI, India (Reuters) – Maroil Trading, owned by shipping tycoon Wilmer Ruperti, has taken over sales of almost all of Venezuela’s petcoke exports, according to The move could reduce the risk of sanctions for clients, the documents and four sources close to the decision said. Oil company PDVSA six years ago. With U.S. sanctions on Venezuela’s oil sector, Maroil has helped maintain exports of the country’s by-product petcoke, which comes from crude oil upgrading and refining and is widely used by cement producers to run kilns.

Shipping documents show that since at least August, all shipments of petcoke from PDVSA’s Jose terminal on Venezuela’s east coast have passed through Maroil, allowing the state oil company to export small amounts of oil from its Cardon refinery Jiao and two of those sources.

“Maroil has completely taken over cargo handling outside of Jose,” said a person working as a client agent. “It’s more efficient for customers than dealing with PDVSA.”

Trading pet coke could be very lucrative, according to documents seen by Reuters covering four months of exports.

In April, PDVSA charged Maroil 45 for every ton of petcoke shipped from its Petrocedeno project on tanker Arki. Invoices and customs documents show that a month later, a cement company paid the dealer for each tonne of cargo arriving at the Indian port of Jagdah 75.

The Venezuelan Oil Ministry, PDVSA and Maroil did not respond to requests for comment.

It is unclear whether Maroil’s commercial expansion is a permanent or temporary arrangement with PDVSA.


PDVSA controls two Two heavy oil upgrading projects, Petro San Felix and Petrocedeno, produce and store petcoke in Jose.

Environmental groups and local communities in Venezuela have been pressuring PDVSA to clear hills of open-pit pet coke that releases carbon particles similar to cinders into the environment. This pressure led to several attempts by the NOC to outsource transportation, shipping and trade until a 220 million dollar contract was signed with Maroil 2020 .

From January to mid-September, Venezuela exported a total of 2.19 million tons of petroleum by-products, % is petroleum coke, a significant increase from 1.03 million tons

and 1.75 million tons , according to Refinitiv Eikon Tanker Tracking and Shipping Documents.

Most of Maroil’s petcoke exports this year have gone to European and Asian destinations. PDVSA ships one to three shipments a month, mostly to China and Cuba, sometimes offering deep discounts for delays in loading and poor product quality, according to the documents and two sources.

A ton of petroleum coke is more expensive than coal and produces more energy when burned. It is not typically used as a fuel due to emissions, but is widely used by the cement industry due to its sulfur dioxide emissions being absorbed by limestone.


Indian companies have been big buyers of Venezuelan petcoke this year as the Asian country hunts for cheap fuel for the power sector amid high coal prices .

Germany-based trading company Shimsupa GmBH has an exclusive arrangement with Maroil to sell Venezuelan petcoke in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, the company said.

The Venezuelan petcoke dealer originally supplied by Maroil stated that the shipments were not penalized because, in contrast to PDVSA, Maroil had not been blacklisted by the U.S. Treasury Department.

But an unnamed U.S. Treasury official warned that “anyone who deals with Venezuelan petcoke is Sanctioned activities, whether or not the person is on the SDN (Special y Designated Nationals) list.

“If certain transactions are authorized by a specific license, then for a specific (usually narrow) There may be no sanctions risk by transaction type, but we cannot comment on specific license issues. ”



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