State-run firms Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) and National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) have agreed to a key contract to swap Venezuelan heavy oil for Iranian condensate that it can use to improve the quality of its tar-like crude, five people close to the deal said. Venezuela seeks to boost its flagging oil exports in the face of U.S. sanctions. This deepens the cooperation between two of Washington’s foes. PDVSA plans to mix the Iranian condensate with extra heavy oil to produce diluted crude oil, a grade demanded by Asian refiners that it has struggled to export since late 2019 when suppliers halted diluent shipments due to sanctions, three sources said.
- Exclusive: Under U.S. sanctions, Iran and Venezuela strike oil export deal