Oil from Tank 9099 is not exempt from US sanctions

Oil from Tank 9099 is not exempt from US sanctions

Photo by Bea Moedt

Willemstad – Problems with the origin of the oil stored in the Bullenboil 9099 tank meant that the oil now paid for cannot be delivered to Count Energy from the buyer Suriname.

Venezuelan oil does not require an OFAC license required by US sanctions against Venezuela. An OFAC license is a permit issued by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), a division of the US Treasury Department. This license is required for transactions prohibited under US sanctions.

Correspondent Bank

Uncertainty about the origin of oil and compliance with sanctions led to reluctance and complications among correspondent banks. These banks are important for processing international transactions, but are reluctant to engage in transactions that may breach sanctions.

Without proper documentation proving that transactions comply with US regulations, these banks themselves face sanctions or legal consequences.


Before Curacao.nu (https://curacao.nu/beoogd-exploitant- refinery-curacao-lijkt-venezuela-te-helpen-amerikaanse-sancties-te-omzeilen/) Togo-flagged tanker, Cologne, in Bullen Bay in 2022 600,000 barrels of fuel oil unloaded. The shipment, owned by CPR, was identified as coming from Venezuela, which would violate sanctions. Exemption from these restrictions will apply until January 15, 2020.

At the time, RdK director Patrick Newton said his company was fully compliant with US sanctions and its contracts required its customers to abide by the same laws. Correspondent Banks apparently does not believe this.


Surinamese company Count Energy paid $28.5 million for 496,028 barrels of fuel oil, but has yet to be paid. The transaction was part of an effort by Refineria di Kòrsou (RdK) to collect an $8 million loan from Caribbean Petroleum Refinery (CPR) to save oil.

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An earlier bid for the oil on November 1, won by I&E Petroleum Group, was canceled after the company was unable to deposit the required $28.6 million.

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