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Venezuelan refineries are unable to produce their own diluent
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Letter from South America: Venezuela secures Iranian lifeline

The crude-for-diluent swap deal with Iran is underway

The Venezuelan oil industry continues to defy the odds by finding a way to survive even in the most desperate of times. The announcement last month of a deal between state-owned Pdvsa and fellow state oil firm National Iranian Oil Company—essentially to swap diluent for crude—means Venezuela can limp along for the foreseeable future. And it seems as though the deal does not just exist on paper: the first very large crude carrier laden with 2mn bl of Orinoco Belt heavy crude is departing Venezuelan waters this month, after disgorging its original cargo of Iranian condensate in the sanctions-strapped South American nation. As the Iranian oil industry is also dealing with US sanctions, the two



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