HOUSTON, April 25 Venezuela's state-run PDVSA
will use a terminal owned by U.S. firm NuStar Energy on
the island of Saint Eustatius to store crude and load very large
crude carriers (VLCCs) going to Asia, after deciding it will no
longer rent a facility in the Bahamas, a PDVSA executive said on
PDVSA has been using the Saint Eustatius terminal in the
Caribbean since March as a center to store and mix its crudes
and produce exportable blends, the Venezuelan oil company
confirmed after Reuters reported it this week.
The company already started receiving crude tankers at the
facility going out from Venezuelan ports.
"We plan to build a new terminal in Araya (at Venezuela's
Eastern coast) but meanwhile we are renting some storage centers
in Aruba and Saint Eustatius and using our own facilities in
Bonaire and Curacao," PDVSA's refining vice president, Asdrubal
Chavez, told journalists.
"We used the Bahamas before, but from Saint Eustatius to
Asia the trip is shorter, so we are saving time and money after
negotiating with NuStar," he added.
After selling several facilities in the Caribbean to collect
cash in recent years and trying to overcome fires and accidents
that affected its domestic refining and storage network in 2012,
PDVSA has signed new leasing contracts to use private
BORCO terminal in the Bahamas, which was owned by PDVSA
until 2007 when it sold it, was later rented by the state-run
company as an additional facility to its domestic network.
Asia, which last year became Venezuela's main oil export
destination, is receiving an increasing volume of PDVSA's crude
and products and most shipments are received in VLCCs loaded at
the Venezuelan Eastern coast, as well as the Caribbean.
Last year PDVSA started renting 4 million barrels of storage
capacity in the island of Aruba in a facility owned by U.S.
refining company Valero Energy.
(Reporting by Marianna Parraga; Editing by Terry Wade and