China’s CCPC involved in trade of Iranian, Venezuelan oil - Reuters

23 Jul 2021

Quantum Commodity Intelligence – China Concord Petroleum Co, also known as CCPC, is playing a key role the supply of sanctioned oil from Iran and Venezuela, despite being blacklisted itself by Washington two years ago, according to a Reuters report Friday.

A Chinese logistics firm, which was sanctioned for handling Iranian crude, has also expanded into trading with Venezuela, said the report, adding it highlights the limitations of Washington’s system of restrictions.

Details of the deals were described to Reuters by a range of individuals including one China-based source familiar with CCPC’s operations, Iranian officials and a source at Venezuela’s state-owned oil company PDVSA.

CCPC started Venezuelan oil trading this year through deals with small independent Chinese refineries known as teapots, said Reuters, according to monthly loading schedules, export schedules and invoices from April and May this year from PDVSA, as well as tanker tracking data.

The Hong Kong-registered firm has quickly become an important partner for Caracas, chartering ships in April and May carrying over 20% of Venezuela’s total oil exports in that period or nearly $445 million worth of crude.

The report said that over the past year, CCPC has acquired at least 14 tankers to transport oil from Iran or Venezuela to China.


“China maintains normal, legitimate trades with Iran and Venezuela under the framework of international law that shall deserve respect and protection,” a spokesman for China’s foreign ministry said in response to Reuters questions about the role of Chinese companies in the trading of sanctioned oil.

“China strongly opposes unilateral sanctions and urges the United States to remove the ‘long-arm jurisdiction’ on companies and individuals.”

China received a daily average of 557,000 barrels of Iranian crude between November and March, or roughly 5% of total imports by the world’s biggest importer, according to Refinitiv Oil Research.

China’s imports of Venezuelan crude and heavy fuel oil averaged 324,000 bpd in the past year to end-April, according to cargo-tracking specialist Vortexa Analytics, below pre-sanctions levels, but still more than 60 percent of Venezuela’s total oil exports.

Iran exported more than 600,000 bpd of crude in June, according to a Reuters survey.

That compares with a high of 2.8 million bpd in 2018, before sanctions were imposed, but up from 300,000 bpd in 2020.