EXCLUSIVE-PDVSA ships $35 mln oil cargo to pay...

By Alexandra Ulmer and Nidhi Verma

WASHINGTON/NEW DELHI, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Venezuela's state-run PDVSA has shipped a crude cargo valued at $35 million as partial payment to Indian oil company ONGC Videsh Ltd for overdue dividends from a joint venture, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The payment is based on an agreement signed in 2016 by PDVSA and ONGC Videsh, the overseas investment arm of India's Oil and Natural Gas Corp, to repatriate about $530 million in dividends due from their San Cristobal oil project in Venezuela.

But Caracas-based PDVSA had not transferred any money to ONGC Videsh in over a year, the sources said, due to Venezuela's economic meltdown and sanctions that complicate payments through U.S. banks that had made it difficult to pay in cash.

That changed when some 500,000 barrels of Venezuelan crude left Venezuela's main oil port of Jose earlier in October, according to one of the sources.

"ONGC Videsh confirms that in October 2018 PDVSA has allocated Merey 16 crude oil parcel of 500,000 barrels to ONGC Videsh towards payment of outstanding dividend," ONGC Videsh said in an email reply to Reuters.

It was not immediately clear which tanker was carrying the crude. Very large crude carriers (VLCCs) Iwatesan and Kassab set sail from Jose several weeks ago with India's Sikka port as their destination, according to Refinitiv Eikon vessel tracking data.

PDVSA, which faces U.S. and international court actions over pending debts, recently has begun paying ....

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