Iran-flagged tanker Dorena, which arrived in Venezuelan waters on Monday, was expected to begin discharging its cargo on Wednesday, Reuters reported citing a document from the state-run PDVSA firm.
PDVSA agreed to a contract with the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) last month to exchange Iranian condensate for Venezuelan heavy crude, and the first Venezuelan cargo set said in September, according to the news agency.
Iran then supplied PDVSA with a first cargo of condensate on tanker Dino I, which sailed back last week carrying Venezuelan crude, it added.
US sanctions have boosted cooperation between Tehran and Caracas, helping the two allies weather the impact of the draconian sanctions.
Earlier this month, Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said the two countries will sign a 20-year cooperation accord when President Nicolas Maduro visits Tehran “in the next few months”.
A joint economic cooperation commission, which will be formed in Iran’s capital before the end of the year which, will finalize the details of the agreement, Amir-Abdollahian said in a joint press conference with his Venezuelan counterpart Felix Plasencia in Tehran.
“All of this confirms that relations between the two countries are on the rise,” he said.
Last month, a US Treasury spokesperson said the US government was “concerned” about reports that Iran and Venezuela had reached major deals to increase their cooperation in the oil sector.
Iran’s supply of condensate can help Venezuela increase its crude exports as the country needs the revenues to improve an economy that has suffered because of US sanctions.
The Islamic Republic has shipped food, refinery parts, condensate and fuel, receiving crude oil and other commodities from Venezuela in return.
Iran’s own oil sales have been targeted by US sanctions since 2018 when the former administration in Washington unilaterally pulled out of an international agreement on Iran’s nuclear program and imposed sanctions on the country.
Both Iran and Venezuela have managed to withstand the economic pressures, gradually finding ways to get around them.