Venezuela's First Crude Import Delivered

Venezuela's First Crude Import DeliveredVenezuela's First Crude Import Delivered

Oil tanker Carabobo, carrying Venezuela's first importation of crude oil, arrived late on Saturday at the Jose port, where it is scheduled to unload up to 2 million barrels of Algerian Saharan Blend to be used as a diluent for Venezuela's extra heavy crude, according to Reuters tanker tracking data.

Though Venezuela has the world's largest crude reserves, the state-run energy company  PDVSA has been buying a growing volume of refined products such as heavy naphtha in recent years to mix with its crude output from the vast Orinoco belt - its largest producing region.

That is done to make the extra heavy crude exportable as extraction of domestic medium and light crudes, which had been used as diluents, declines.

The South American country has been an oil exporter for almost a century. Last year it sold 2.43 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude and products to foreign clients, according to public PDVSA figures.

Venezuela and Algeria have been closely allied within the OPEC in recent years, even though they have never entered a joint venture.