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Venezuelan crude flowed to US in February


By Argus

Petroleumworld 05 07 2019

US imports of Venezuelan crude averaged 242,000 b/d in February, sharply reduced but far from zero in the first month following the imposition of sanctions on the Opec member's national oil company, PdV.

Citgo, a PdV subsidiary and US independent refiner, accounted for 122,000 b/d of imports for the month, down by almost 20pc from February 2018. Chevron, which operates joint venture upstream projects in Venezuela, reported 84,821 b/d, or 3pc lower from the previous year.

US independent refiner PBF Energy, which in late 2015 acquired a former PdV joint venture refinery in Chalmette, Louisiana, cut imports by 19pc to 17,179 b/d.

Valero reported the sharpest reduction, by almost 84pc to 17,750 b/d. Previously planned maintenance at Valero's 215,000 b/d refinery in St Charles, Louisiana, had already reduced the company's heavy crude demand for the month.

Chevron and PBF Energy declined to comment. Citgo and Valero did not respond to requests for comment.

The US imposed sanctions on 28 January blocking transactions with PdV. The measures immediately halted the export of naphtha vital to PdV's export blending program and required any payments to the national oil company diverted to escrow accounts until President Nicolas Maduro stepped down. The US and many western governments recognize National Assembly leader Juan Guaido as interim president and seek new elections.

Guaido today called for a public and military overthrow of Maduro that led to street clashes throughout the day.

EIA weekly estimates of US imports of Venezuelan crude fell to zero in March amid crippling power outages across that country. But imports resumed in April, averaging roughly 133,000 b/d.



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Story from Argus Media. 04 30 2019


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