With Venezuela’s exports of crude on the brink of collapsing below 1m barrels a day to historic lows, the bull case for energy has additional support as creditors of the cash-strapped national oil company PDVSA threaten to seize overseas assets. The global energy market is bracing for a spike in crude oil prices as Venezuela’s export troubles intensify, just as Iran’s foreign sales are set to drop because of new US sanctions after the Trump administration’s withdrawal from a nuclear deal.
A drop in both Venezuelan and Iranian supply could provide the “perfect cocktail” for oil at $100 a barrel next year or sooner, said analysts at London-based broker PVM. Brent crude hit a near four-year high of $79 a barrel on Tuesday, which may raise pressure on Opec and Russia to unwind their 18-month-old production deal to reduce supplies.
Venezuela’s foreign oil sales have fallen 40 percent from a year ago to 1.1m b/d in April, according to data from tanker tracker website Kpler. And the Opec member’s exports are seen to be dropping sharply as troubles mount for PDVSA, with Russ Dallen of investment bank Caracas Capital saying that the company faces “an avalanche” of lawsuits over unpaid bonds.