Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) CEO Asdrúbal Chávez has met in Caracas with Iran's Petroleum Minister Javad Owji to sign bilateral agreements between two countries heavily damaged by US-imposed sanctions.
Owji and his entourage visited the Paraguaná refinery in the Paraguaná Peninsula in Falcón state and the western shore of Lake Maracaibo in Zulia state.
Iran and Venezuela are blacklisted by the United States, which currently imports no oil from either country. A rare meeting between Nicolás Maduro and senior U.S. officials in Caracas in March generated speculation that sanctions relief was on the table to free up oil supplies in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, but so far no further developments in that regard have been reported.
Venezuela imports condensate from Iran, an input which is essential to dilute its extra-thick crude. Iran also stepped in to help the Maduro government with engineers, refined products, and spare parts for its oil industry. The rapprochement included the exchange of Iranian gasoline for Venezuelan jet fuel.
In mid-March, Owji visited Russia where he held talks with Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, to discuss prospects for global cooperation between the two oil-producing countries as well as possible cooperative projects in Iran.
According to Russian sources, the Iranian minister noted that Tehran is willing to support Moscow and expand collaboration.
Owji also met Monday with his Venezuelan counterpart, Tareck El Aissami, according to video footage released on social media by the South American official.
”What a pleasure to have you here (...) I was looking forward to meeting you personally,” Minister El Aissami said in the video.