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Venezuelan oil exports down on US sanctions, lower sales to Asia

An oil tanker is seen at sea outside the Puerto La Cruz oil refinery in Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela July 19, 2018. REUTERS/Alexandra Ulmer/
An oil tanker is seen at sea outside the Puerto La Cruz oil refinery in Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela July 19, 2018. Reuters/Alexandra Ulmer

Marianna Parraga and Mircely Guanipa, Reuters

HOUSTON
EnergiesNet.com 05 03 2024

Venezuelan oil exports declined 38% in April after tanker owners and customers pulled several vessels waiting to load out of the country’s waters as a reimposition of U.S. sanctions approached, according to shipping data and documents.

The U.S. Treasury Department last month said it would not renew a six-month license extended to Venezuela’s oil sector last year, and gave companies until the end of May to wind down pending transactions.

A total of 37 vessels departed from Venezuela’s ports in April. Exports averaged 545,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude and fuel, below a peak of 873,500 bpd shipped in March and 703,000 bpd exported in the same month a year-ago, according to data from financial firm LSEG based on tanker movements.

About six supertankers have left Venezuela empty in recent weeks after waiting for months to load crude at ports operated by state oil company PDVSA (PDVSA.UL). Loading delays and customer fears the wind-down period granted by Washington would not be enough to complete the sales were behind the departures, the data and company documents showed.

At least two of the tankers that left without loading had been chartered by Polish state-controlled refiner Orlen (PKN.WA), and were expected to sail to Asia, according to the data and documents.

The Polish government is investigating the loss of about $400 million by Orlen’s Switzerland-based trading unit in prepayments for Venezuelan oil cargoes the company did not receive.

The missed deliveries hit PDVSA’s exports to Asia in April, which fell 64% to 206,000 bpd. Shipments to the United States rose 34% to 238,000 bpd, driven by larger output and exports from joint ventures between the state firm and Chevron (CVX.N), the data showed.

Venezuela also exported 236,000 metric tons of oil byproducts and petrochemicals, below the 463,000 tons shipped in March, and slightly increased fuel imports to some 57,000 bpd from 53,000 bpd the previous month.

Reporting by Marianna Parraga in Houston and Mircely Guanipa in Maracay, Venezuela; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

reuters.com 05 02 2024

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