Bonaire Petroleum Corporation (BOPEC), a subsidiary of Venezuela’s state-owned oil company PDVSA, which owns a 10 million bbl oil terminal on the Dutch Caribbean island of Bonaire, has declared bankruptcy, according to reports, citing US sanctions.
Reuters reports that in a court filing with the Court of First Instance of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba, BOPEC says that US sanctions have cut off its access to international trade and the cash held in its bank accounts, and it can no longer pay its debts. BOPEC requested a moratorium on creditor payments, which the court has granted. BOPEC states that it is negotiating with ‘a party that may make the necessary liquid assets available’ so that it can pay its debts.
PDVSA has not commented on the matter.
The US government has imposed numerous sanctions on Venezuela over terrorism, drug trafficking, and more recently for anti-democratic actions, human rights violations and corruption, on people and businesses associated with the regime of president Nicolas Maduro, who has been in power since 2013. These are designed to oust Maduro and his regime.
The Bonaire terminal has been in trouble for a while. In October 2019, the Dutch authorities banned loading at its two jetties due to a lack of maintenance and repair, and in 2020, BOPEC was ordered to remove oil from the tanks due to leak fears. In March 2020, Argus Media reported that Curacao’s state-owned Refineria di Korsou (RdK) had seized the terminal over unpaid debt.