A Venezuelan oil tanker is returning with a naphtha cargo to Venezuela from Syria, after delivering badly needed diesel early this week to Syria. Syria is facing a shortage of diesel as Western sanctions are causing severe shortages and hurting its economy, as per Reuters. The tanker loaded a cargo of naphtha from the Syrian port of Banias, and is estimated to reach Amuay, Venezuela on June 12.
The Negra Hipolita is the third vessel to deliver diesel to Syria from Venezuela, while a fourth shipment is being prepared. The EU has taken steps to prevent firms from delivering diesel to Syria as it can be used to fuel heavy vehicles, including army tanks. Thousands of people have been killed in Syria during a year-long revolt against President’s rule, a conflict in which the military’s use of heavy vehicles has been prominent. Tighter EU sanctions introduced late in March made it more difficult for firms to deliver diesel to Syria without breaking the law, and imports of diesel have since ground to a near halt.