Venezuela Is Losing Its Best Oil Buyer

2 Dec 2017   Venezuela

Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro said this week that PdVSA is willing to retaliate against financial sanctions from the U.S. by suspending oil exports to the country, sending crude to Asia instead. This seems highly unlikely, given that the U.S. is one of its largest cash-paying customers. China is PdVSA’s largest customer in Asia, but it doesn’t receive payment for these shipments – it is using crude to pay off its vast debts instead. We can see in our ClipperData that U.S. imports of Venezuelan crude have been exceedingly steady in recent years, averaging 773,000 bpd in 2014, 792,000 bpd in 2015 and 754,000 bpd in 2016. Steady flows make sense – not only because of the presence of Citgo refineries on the US Gulf Coast, but because Gulf Coast refiners are geared towards refining the heavy crude that Venezuela produces. Proximity is also a key consideration. Exports this year, […]

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