PDVSA leases facilities on two of the islands, so ConocoPhillips cannot take them over even with a court order, but it could seize Venezuela’s oil stored in them and any state-owned ships that dock there, said Russ Dallen, a Venezuela expert.
Oil tankers leaving Venezuela’s shores over the weekend turned around before reaching the Caribbean islands, the tracking website showed.
Two of the island storage facilities have the capacity to hold crude valued at $900 million, about half of Venezuela’s monthly production, Dallen said.
“It’s a devastating blow to a beleaguered country that can’t even feed its population,” said Dallen, adding that Venezuela owes billions to investors around the world. “We’re going to see a lot more of these in the future.”