US sanctions help India become No.1 buyer of Venezuelan crude

Imports of Venezuela’s oil by India surged 66 % within the first half of February to 620,000 barrels a day. The nation boosted its purchases from the Latin American nation after US stopped shipments from Caracas.

Indian refiners Reliance Industries and Nayara Energy had been driving the import increase. Venezuela has despatched its oil minister, Manuel Quevedo, to India to persuade refiners to double their oil purchases.

“We are selling more than 300,000” bpd to Indian patrons, Quevedo mentioned on Monday in New Delhi, including: “We want to double that amount.”

Two supertankers sailed off late on Monday from Venezuela’s Jose terminal carrying cargoes to Indian ports.

The South American nation, which is sitting on the world’s largest crude oil assets, has turned its focus to its second-largest client, India, for the reason that US imposed sanctions in opposition to Venezuela’s state-run oil firm PDVSA.

US President Donald Trump ratcheted up sanctions on January 28 which had been designed to undercut monetary help for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

As a consequence, Venezuelan crude exports plunged to 1.12 million barrels each day within the first half of February, down 9.2 % in contrast with the identical interval in January. According to Refinitiv Eikon knowledge, Venezuela was exporting about 1.four million bpd within the months earlier than sanctions.