Venezuela is preparing to shut more than a quarter of its already reeling oil production in the coming weeks, with US sanctions preventing state-owned PDVSA from importing diluent needed to extract its extra-heavy crude, sources said Monday.  Sources at PDVSA told S&P Global Platts the company expects it will not be able to produce some 300,000 b/d of diluted crude oil (DCO) without supplies of naphtha that are blended with the thick, tar-like crude from the Orinoco Belt to make it transportable. Production of conventional crude oils that do not need to be improved will continue, but given the deterioration of infrastructure and internal labor problems, even those volumes will see further declines. As a result, Venezuela?s total crude output will fall to below 800,000 b/d by the end of February, the sources […]