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India becomes top buyer of Venezuelan crude in February, imports jump 66%

Venezuelan crude exports have plunged since US President Donald Trump ratcheted up sanctions against the country's oil company

Bloomberg | Lucia Kassai 

oil, gas
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India is feasting on Venezuelan oil, after the US imposed a de facto ban on crude imports from the Latin American nation.

While flows to the US came to a halt, India became the No. 1 buyer of Venezuelan crude in the first half of February, with imports jumping 66 per cent to 620,000 barrels a day. Indian refiners Reliance Industries and Nayara Energy, which is backed by Rosneft Co PJSC, are driving the boost.

Still, Venezuelan crude exports have plunged since US President Donald Trump ratcheted up sanctions against the country’s company. Shipments of oil, the commodity that bankrolls the regime of embattled President Nicolas Maduro, fell to 1.12 million barrels daily in the first half of February, down 9.2 percent compared with the same period in January. No US-bound vessels have left Venezuelan ports in that time.

Seven Venezuelan oil-laden vessels loaded for US refiners Valero Energy Corp and Chevron Corp have been stranded since sanctions were announced on January 28, as state-owned Petroleos de SA demands upfront payment for the cargoes. Bloomberg

First Published: Sat, February 16 2019. 22:54 IST
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