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Corrected: Venezuela open to barter trade with India to boost oil sales

Reuters  |  NEW DELHI 

(Corrects spelling of minister's name in first paragraph and throughout)

(Reuters) - is open to barter-like payments from to boost sales to the world's third-biggest consumer, the South American country's said on Monday.

buys a slew of products including medicines from India, and it is looking for alternative payment mechanisms after application of the latest stringent U.S. sanctions.

The administration of U.S. has imposed sweeping sanctions on Venezuelan firm PDVSA, aimed at severely curbing the OPEC member's crude exports to the to pressure socialist to step down.

"The relationships with will continue, the trade will continue and we will simply expand all the trade and relationship," Quevedo told reporters on the sidelines of Petrotech conference, without giving any further details on how a barter mechanism with would work.

Venezuela's has dwindled in the last two decades, from more than 3 million barrels per day (bpd) at the beginning of the century to between 1.2 million and 1.4 million bpd by late 2018. Most of the it produces now is heavy or extra heavy.

Venezuela's is now at 1.57 million bpd, Quevedo said.

The Venezuelan oil minister, who now holds the rotating presidency of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), said it was important to listen to all the consuming countries that represent to maintain the balance of demand and supply in the markets.

"Inventory levels, demand, supply are the elements taken into account while trying to maintain the balance the global industry needs," Quevedo said.

Unilateral sanctions by the have reduced PDVSA's and caused a loss of about $20 billion to its oil revenue-dependent economy, he said.

"U.S. exercises kidnapping of resources around the world ... It is financial persecution. Now they want to steal Citgo Petroleum from Venezuela," he said.

is a unit of and Venezuela's top foreign asset. Citgo operates three U.S. refineries that supply about 4 percent of total U.S. fuel production, and it is PDVSA's largest U.S. customer for its

Following the U.S. decision to impose sanctions on Venezuela's oil industry, both sides have engaged in aggressive moves for control of Citgo, which has roots in the dating back 100 years, but has been owned by Venezuela's state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela, or PDVSA, for three decades.

Sanctions have forced Citgo and other U.S. refiners to seek supplies from other nations.

(Reporting by and in NEW DELHI; Editing by Tom Hogue)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, February 11 2019. 16:00 IST
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