06/11  Closing Prices / revised 06/12/2024 07:53 GMT 06/11 OPEC Basket  $82.36   +$1.43 cents 06/11 Mexico Basket (MME) $72.63  +$0.43  cents  | 04/30 Venezuela Basket (Merey)   $74.91   +$3.93 cents | 06/11 NYMEX WTI Texas Intermediate July CLN24 $77.90  +$0.16 cents  | 06/11 ICE Brent August  BRNQ24    $81.92  +$0.29 cents  | 06/11 NYMEX Gasoline June RBN24  $2.40  +0.1%  |  06/11 NYMEX  Heating Oil July  RBN 24    $2.42  +0.3% | 06/11 Natural Gas July NGN24  $3.12   +7.7%  | 06/07 Active U.S. Rig Count (Oil & Gas)   594  -6  | 06/12 USD/MXN Mexican Peso   18.6503  (data live)  | 06/12 EUR/USD     1.0745 (data live)  | 06/12 US/Bs. (Bolivar)   $36.43850000 ( data BCV)

Indian Buyers of Venezuelan Oil Halt PDVSA Imports on Sanction Fears

A Reliance Industries Ltd. oil refinery in Gujarat, India.Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg
Refiners pause purchases ahead of waiver expiry on April 18. Import-reliant India faces dip in flows from Venezuela, Russia. A Reliance Industries Ltd. oil refinery in Gujarat, India. Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg

Rakesh Sharma and Lucia Kassai, Bloomberg News

EnergiesNet.com 03 26 2024

Indian buyers of Venezuelan oil — including billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd. — have halted purchases from the OPEC producer ahead of the expiry of a sanctions waiver in the middle of next month. 

Reliance Industries, the country’s biggest buyer of grades such as Merey, has stopped new purchases from Venezuela to avoid any complications should Washington decide not to extend its concession beyond the April 18 deadline, said people with knowledge of the company’s plans, who asked not to be named because the information is private.

Other Indian refiners such as Indian Oil Corp. and HPCL-Mittal Energy Ltd. have also paused their purchases for the same reason, said people familiar with their procurement. 

The three companies didn’t reply to emails seeking comment. 

Indian — as well as US — refiners have ramped up imports of cheap Venezuelan oil since late last year due to a six-month sanctions waiver, putting them into competition with Chinese buyers who kept buying the crude despite the restrictions. Reduced flows from the South American producer will add to supply pressures for India, as imports from Russia are also declining due to more scrutiny of the trade. 

, Source: Kpler

No India-bound loadings of Venezuelan crude are expected in April, said Viktor Katona, a Vienna-based analyst at data intelligence firm Kpler. It is unlikely that any shipments that load in end-March or early-April will arrive in India near or before the April 18 deadline due to a sailing time of about 45 days. 

Tankers Caspar and Nissos Tinos that loaded oil at Venezuela’s Jose export terminal in mid-March are signaling Jamnagar and Paradip in India, according to Kpler. The ships are expected to reach their destinations in April. Both vessels were initially slated to load in February, based on official programs. Their schedules were later delayed due to low inventories at Venezuelan ports, documents show.

India has received 10 million barrels of Venezuelan crude so far this year, with another 6 million barrels en route, the Kpler data show. Oil from the OPEC producer is among the cheapest for Indian refiners. The average landed cost was $60.60 a barrel in January, according to government data, versus $78.80 for Russian oil. 

The US can choose to reimpose sanctions next month if it deems Venezuela has broken an accord to hold free and fair elections. President Nicolás Maduro is set to run for a third consecutive term this July, and he is all but assured victory after disqualifying his main rival.

The return of US sanctions may include a wind-down period for traders and shipping companies to wrap up their dealings without being penalized. In 2019, it was 90 days.

–With assistance from Andrew Janes and Sharon Cho.

bloomberg.com 03 25 2024

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