Vitol hires ship to load Venezuela crude for China after U.S. lifts sanctions - sources

Credit: REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

SINGAPORE/HOUSTON, Nov 16 (Reuters) - Vitol VITOLV.UL, world's largest independent oil trader, has provisionally chartered a supertanker to load oil from Venezuela for China, according to two shipbrokers and data from shiptracking firms Kpler and Vortexa.

The Very Large Crude Carrier Gustavia S., chartered for $11 million, is scheduled to load its cargo between Nov. 27 and Dec. 2, according to the sources.

The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Vitol is among major European trading houses seeking to resume trade in Venezuelan oil after Washington in mid-October issued a general licence lifting, through April, sanctions on the country's oil production and exports.

The U.S. has said it wants to see progress towards a transparent presidential election in Venezuela as well as a release of political prisoners by Nov. 30 or it could reimpose the sanctions.

(Reporting by Muyu Xu in Singapore and Arathy Somasekhar in Houston; writing by Florence Tan; editing by Jason Neely)

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