CARACAS, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Shipping operations at one of three docks of Venezuela’s main crude exporting port have “recovered” after a “minor” oil spill occurred over the weekend, state oil company PDVSA said on Wednesday, without saying how big the spill was.
A spill occurred while loading a vessel bound for India at Jose port’s eastern dock, union and shipping sources told Reuters on Tuesday, and also affected other tankers close to the very large crude carrier (VLCC) Nave Quasar, chartered by India’s Reliance Industries.
PDVSA confirmed the spill on Wednesday and said the situation was under control.
“Expert oil industry workers activated a contingency plan over the weekend after a minor incident occurred in the maritime terminal, where an oil spill happened during loading operations,” PDVSA said in a statement.
“Immediately, Jose port workers started work to contain, collect, and clean the area, managing to recover operations without registering losses, affectations or harm.”
PDVSA did not respond to an e-mail asking about the magnitude of the spill.
A union source and two workers said PDVSA had not disclosed the size of the spill.
Jose is Venezuela’s largest crude port. Most crude shipments are made from there due to its capacity to load Suezmaxes and VLCCs. The port also receives imports of diluents for PDVSA’s extra heavy oil output, such as light crude and naphtha.
India’s Reliance is among PDVSA’s main customers. It receives crude from the Orinoco Belt, and in some cases pays for that oil by shipping refined products to Venezuela. (Reporting by Alexandra Ulmer and Mircely Guanipa; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)