Venezuelan state-run company PDVSA earlier shifted several oil cargoes from Rosneft Trading SA, which was hit by U.S. sanctions last week, to another affiliate of the Russian oil giant, internal documents from the Venezuelan company showed.
According to PDVSA’s trade reports seen by Reuters, four cargoes carrying some 6.7 million barrels of Venezuelan oil which had previously been allocated to Rosneft Trading for February loading were changed in recent days to another unit of the Russian firm, TNK Trading.
Two of the cargo changes occurred in the first week of February. The other two came after the U.S. sanctions date, the data shows.
Rosneft absorbed TNK Trading International after it completed the purchase of TNK BP in 2013. TNK Trading and Rosneft Trading share an address in Geneva, according to online company registry Moneyhouse.
PDVSA and Rosneft did not respond to questions about the changes. Reuters could not determine whether the move was in response to U.S. sanctions.
U.S. Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams told Reuters on Monday that he was aware of the cargoes shifted to TNK Trading. “I’d only say that if they play games like that with OFAC, all that will happen is additional companies will get sanctioned,” he said, referring to companies trying to work around the sanctions from the Office of Foreign Assets Control.