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Despite Launch Parties, Venezuelan Oil Tankers Never Set Sail

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http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/10/01/uk-oil-tankers-venezuela-idUKBRE99006A20131001

With flags and confetti, Venezuela in the last 14 months launched three new oil tankers that exemplify the socialist nation's ambitions to diversify to Asian markets and give a helping hand to its political allies.

But the tankers from shipyards in Iran, Argentina and China, have never set sail, according to five sources with knowledge of the company's fleet, as well as ship tracking data from Reuters showing the ships sitting where they were built.

..

The delays mean higher freight costs for the financially-strapped company. An internal report from March seen by Reuters said PDVSA leased 75 tankers. One contract signed this year showed PDVSA was paying $15,000 a day for a tanker, a broker who had seen the document said.

..

Gonzalez, of the Venezuelan merchant marine group, said the delays may also stem from the fact that Venezuela gave the jobs to less advanced shipyards that cannot build tankers as fast as modern ones that build them in 3-4 years.

Sebastian Aguilar, spokesman of the Rio Santiago shipyard in Argentina, confirmed delivery has not yet been made.

"The Eva Peron is still at the dockyard. It was launched in July 2012 and is currently in the last stage, getting equipment ready before its final delivery," he said in a written response, without giving reasons for the apparent delay.

Another example of genius decision making. Luckily the Venezuelan govt has cash to burn.

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