CARACAS – Venezuela has reoriented its oil supplies to the Indian market and even some EU countries after US sanctions led to a sharp reduction in US supplies. At the end of January, the Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA stopped supplying oil to the U.S market. In January 2017, Venezuela supplied 749 thousand barrels per day to the United States, and 528 thousand barrels in January 2018, according to U.S trade statistics. This major development was even recognized by the Atlanticist billionaire blog, The Wall Street Journal.
After the United States imposed sanctions against Venezuelan PDVSA on January 28, 2019, exports to the United States fell from 484 thousand barrels per day in January to 149 thousand barrels per day in February.
However, on February 27th, the country’s oil minister, Manuel Quevedo, stated that the reduction in oil shipments to the US was offset by sending tankers to other countries, including India in particular.
India, as well as some of the EU countries in question, recognize Maduro as the democratically elected and constitutionally empowered president of Venezuela. According to Kpler, a self-described intelligence company providing ‘transparency solutions in energy markets’, deliveries to India in February increased by a whopping 40 thousand barrels per day. In mid-February, Quevedo had already announced plans to expand oil exports to India, explains PRIME.
“We sell more than 300 thousand barrels per day to Indian buyers. We want to double this amount,”said the Minister about the plans of Venezuela. One of the consumers of this oil in India is Nayara, which owns a number of refineries and a network of gas stations. The company is co-owned by the Russian “Rosneft”, which possess some 49.13% of Nayara.
Some EU regardless of their nominal position on Maduro, have refused to join in the U.S sanctions game, and welcome the purchase of Venezuelan oil. Surprisingly, supplies to the UK in February increased by 11 thousand barrels per day. Export is also carried out to refineries in Norway, Sweden and Spain. However, there are a number of buyers who, for fear of sanctions, refuse to buy Venezuelan oil. In particular the Italian firm Eni has stopped buying.