“That ship should not be in this shape except for neglect and stupidity,” said Russ Dallen, head of Caracas Capital Markets, who closely tracks Venezuela’s maritime industry.

Critics of Venezuela’s collapsing state-run oil firm PDVSA say the double-hulled tanker — built in 2005 for ConocoPhillips by South Korea’s Samsung — is just one example of the socialist government’s corruption and mismanagement that has bankrupted the nation’s petroleum industry that once made Venezuela wealthy.