India to buy Venezuela oil under swap deal amid US sanctions
India has decided to receive a cargo of Venezuelan crude under a swap deal in the face of a US sanctions regime which has put the Latin American country in throes of a fuel crisis.
Mumbai-based Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) announced its plan to load its first cargo of Venezuelan crude after a three-month recess due to lower demands.
The Indian multinational conglomerate company is scheduled this week to receive a 1.9-million barrel cargo of crude at Venezuela's main oil port of Jose, a Reuters report said.
Reliance said in exchange for the Venezuelan crude oil, it will deliver diesel fuel to the Venezuelan state-owned oil and natural gas company, PDVSA.
The Indian firm has previously stated that a fuel-for-crude swap deal with PDVSA will continue despite crippling economic sanctions imposed in 2019 by the United States on Caracas in an effort to drive down oil revenue to the government of President Nicolas Maduro.
Washington has imposed several rounds of paralyzing economic sanctions against the oil-rich South American country, aiming to oust Maduro and replace him with US-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido.
Maduro has denounced the US government for its continuous "criminal sanctions" against the suffering Latin American nation amid the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
Caracas, in response, has vowed to take legal action against Washington at the International Criminal Court (ICC) over the sanctions imposed on the nation.
Venezuela has a similar fuel-for-crude swap deal with Italy's Eni and Spain's Repsol, who take Venezuelan crude in exchange for diesel supplied as part of debt repayment deals.
Iran has sent five tankers since April to Venezuela, breaching a de facto American blockade. Last month, the United States imposed sanctions on five Iranian ship captains who delivered oil to Venezuela.