An oil storage terminal on the Dutch Caribbean island of Bonaire has been seized by Curacao’s state-run oil firm Refineria di Korsou (RdK) following a payment dispute with the Venezuelan oil company PDVSA, according to Managing Director of RdK Marcelino de Lannoy.
Curacao is a Dutch island region in the southern Caribbean Sea located about 65 kilometres north of the Venezuelan coast.
De Lannoy warned in a statement on Saturday that if the PDVSA fails to make payments, Curacao will seek Dutch court approvals to sell the PDVSA-owned Bonaire Petroleum Corp (BOPEC) and its barrel storage terminal with 10 million barrels of storage capacity. He declined to elaborate on how much the payment was.
The managing director also pledged that RdK will take BOPEC workers’ interests into account "as long as this is possible”, expressing hope that “with this PDVSA will comply with its duties”.
“If this is not the case, there is no alternative left for RdK to use its right to sell the installations in a public auction”, he added. Neither PDVSA nor BOPEC General Manager Reginald Pinto has commented on the matter yet.
The developments come after the end of a contract between RdK and the PDVSA last year to operate the Isla refinery on Curacao.
This was preceded by Washington freezing the US-based assets of the PDVSA worth $7 billion in 2018 as part of the White House’s efforts to sanction Venezuela and its officials in recent years in hitherto fruitless attempts to force its duly elected President Nicolas Maduro to resign. Caracas slammed the move as unlawful and accused Washington of seeking to get its hands on Venezuela's oil reserves.