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Monday, December 18, 2017

INTERTANKO expresses concern over deteriorating situation in Venezuela

As the strike in Venezuela enters its second week, INTERTANKO expresses deep concern over safety levels at terminals and waterways in the area.

With 90-95 percent of employees of state oil company  PDVSA out in strike, the Venezuelan government is reportedly attempting to replace striking workers by inexperienced military personnel and ex-employees. As the strike has been expanded to include pilots, tugs and crew on board PDV Marina controlled tankers,  several episodes have been reported where berthing and unberthing manoeuvres have been undertaken under what appears to be unsafe conditions.

INTERTANKO expresses fear that recent actions by government and military forces will contribute to increased antagonism, prolonging the crisis and disruption to refinery and shipping activities. INTERTANKO is also concerned over possible insurance issues and the ability to provide safe ports for tankers calling at Venezuelan terminals. Said Anders Baardvik, INTERTANKO Regional Manager for Latin America: “INTERTANKO encourages owners to exercise extreme caution and liase closely with local agents, charterers and their P&I clubs before proceeding to terminals in the area. We understand that no advice or notice have been issued by insurers so far but that they are monitoring the situation closely. We hope that the Venezuelan government and the striking parties are able to negotiate a quick and peaceful resolution to the situation. The current state of affairs is disruptive not only to the safe and economic operation of tankers in the region, but also contributes to continued social unrest.”

Contact: Anders Baardvik  

INTERTANKO has been the voice of independent tanker owners since 1970, ensuring that the oil that keeps the world turning is shipped safely, responsibly and competitively.

Membership is open to independent tanker owners and operators of oil and chemical tankers i.e. non-oil companies and non-state controlled tanker owners who fulfil the Association's membership criteria.  At present, independent owners operate some 80% of the world's tanker fleet and the vast majority are INTERTANKO members. The organisation has 238 members, whose combined fleet comprises 2,038 tankers totalling 156 million dwt, which is 70% of the world's independent tanker fleet above 10,000 dwt. INTERTANKO's associate membership stands at 276 companies with an interest in oil and oil shipping.