US becoming good customer for Russian oil
Officially Russia is "the Adversary," but the market has a policy all its own
Russia sharply increased oil exports to the USA
Supplies of Russian oil and petroleum products to the United States in the first half of May reached 5 million barrels. RBC reports, citing Russ Dallen, managing partner of investment bank Caracas Capital Market. This is comparable to the total volume of oil supplies from Russia since the beginning of the year.
As previously reported by Bloomberg, in the first five months of 2019, the United States imported 5 million barrels.
For the entire 2018, 7.51 million barrels of oil were supplied to the American market, and in 2017, 1.58 million barrels.
Growth in the supply of raw materials from Russia to the United States is taking place against the background of a twofold decrease in oil production in Venezuela. In May 2018, Venezuelan oil production amounted to 1.33 million barrels, in March 2019 – 740,000 barrels.
The reduction in the production and export of Venezuelan oil is due to the introduction in January of this year of US sanctions against the state oil and gas company PDVSA and its American subsidiary Citgo Petroleum.
Washington’s conditions for lifting the sanctions call for the departure of the current President Nicolas Maduro and the announcement of new elections.
Before the sanctions the United States was the largest buyer of Venezuelan raw materials.
Oil supplies from Russia to the United States increased sharply in March 2019, passing the maximum since 2011.
“Ironically, the Russians benefit from the collapse of Venezuela: one hostile sanctioned country replaces the other hostile sanctioned country in supplies to the United States,” Dallen emphasized.
Additionally, Washington applied restrictions not only to companies that produce oil, but also against those who help them transport raw materials to Cuba.
We add this curious note from RBC.ru:
Rosneft announces US approval to ship oil from Venezuela to India
The company stopped supplying oil from Iran to the refineries in India, and sent Venezuelan oil with prepaid contracts with the permission of the US State Department, the vice-president of Rosneft said: Venezuelan oil, which Rosneft supplied to factories in India, was purchased under prepaid contracts, and for this reason the US State Department gave permission for such deliveries, said Vice President of the Russian company Didier Kasimiro, RBC reports.
“The use of Venezuelan oil was allowed because Venezuelan oil, which we supply to refineries in India, comes from Rosneft’s prepaid contracts, and therefore the State Department gave permission,” said Casimiro.