& Tobago

Very usefull links


News links




Dow Jones

Oil price



Views and News




U.S. weighs sanctions on Rosneft over Venezuela deals but is wary of oil market chaos

Global Research

- Russian oil giant's Venezuelan ventures continue to operate
- Treasury Department fears Rusal-like chaos in commodities

By Saleha Mohsin and Ben Bartenstein / Bloomberg

Petroleumworld 02 07 2020

The U.S. is weighing whether to sanction Russia's biggest oil producer, Rosneft PJSC , for maintaining ties with Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro, though American officials are wary that the move could cause chaos in global oil markets, according to people familiar with the matter.

Officials at the Treasury Department worry that sanctions on Rosneft may drive up prices for oil, the people said. The U.S. has placed heavy economic sanctions on Venezuela as the Trump administration seeks to oust Maduro, its president, but the country's oil industry continues to function. Crude accounts for 95% of Venezuelan exports and bankrolls Maduro's regime.

The Trump administration plans to ramp up its pressure on Maduro over the next 30 days, a senior administration official told reporters in a briefing on Wednesday. The U.S. will look “very closely” at potential actions against Rosneft and will “likely take action in the near future on that issue,” National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien said Wednesday at an event hosted by Meridian International Center .

President Donald Trump promised in his State of the Union address on Tuesday “that Maduro's grip of tyranny will be smashed and broken.” Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido attended the speech and met with Trump at the White House on Wednesday.

A spokeswoman for the Treasury Department didn't immediately respond to a request for comment and a spokesman for the White House National Security Council declined to comment.

The threat of U.S. sanctions on a large Russian commodities company upended global markets in 2018, when the Trump administration moved against Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska in retaliation for what Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin called “malign activity around the globe” by the Russian government. At the time, Deripaska held a majority stake in United Co. Rusal , the world's second-largest aluminum producer.

Sanctions were never imposed on Rusal due to repeated waivers by Treasury. But global aluminum prices shot up as much as 20% at one point, and each delay in imposing sanctions caused more turbulence.

In the wake of U.S. sanctions on Venezuela, Russia has become the second-largest source of American oil imports. The nation's crude and oil product exports to the U.S. climbed to 20.9 million barrels last October, the highest since November 2011, according to U.S. government data.

Rosneft is currently subject to some U.S. market-sector sanctions, although those measures aren't as far-reaching as the sanctions against businesses associated with the Maduro regime and don't prevent Rosneft from entering into transactions for Venezuelan oil.

Rosneft has been Venezuela's main shipper of crude, which goes predominantly to refineries in India and China. The Moscow-based company, controlled by Russian President Vladimir Putin's government, has loaned $6.5 billion to PDVSA in exchange for oil.

Venezuelan oil sales fell to a 34-year-low in 2019 after sanctions cut off trade with the U.S., until then the country's biggest customer.

Rosneft also supplies gasoline and diesel in exchange for crude oil. Subsidized gasoline helps Maduro keep his hold on power in a country suffering from inflation, food shortages and a widespread humanitarian crisis. Gasoline is so cheap that Venezuelans can fill a tank with less than $1 .

As of November 2019, Rosneft's five joint ventures with PDVSA, the Venezuelan state-owned oil company, pumped an average of 84,700 barrels a day, compared to 158,000 in the same month a year before, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. A jointly run upgrader of heavy crude oil has been halted since mid-2019 due to operational issues.

— With assistance by Peter Millard, Lucia Kassai, and Fabiola Zerpa

By Saleha Mohsin and Ben Bartenstein from Bloomberg. 02 06


We invite you to join us as a sponsor.

Circulated Videos, Articles, Opinions and Reports which carry your name and brand are used to target Entrepreneurs through our site, promoting your organization’s services. The opportunity is to insert in our stories pages short attention-grabbing videos, or to publish your own feature stories.


Copyright© 1999-2020 Petroleumworld or respective author or news agency. All rights reserved.

We welcome the use of Petroleumworld™ (PW) stories by anyone provided it mentions as the source.

Other stories you have to get authorization by its authors. Internet web links to are appreciated.

Petroleumworld welcomes your feedback and comments, share your thoughts on this article, your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us
their views and comments about this article.

Write to

By using this link, you agree to allow PW
to publish your comments on our letters page.

Any question or suggestions,
please write to:

Best Viewed with IE 5.01+ Windows NT 4.0, '95,
'98,ME,XP, Vista, Windows 7,8, 10 +/ 800x600 pixels

Twitter: @petroleumworld1




Editor & Publisher: Elio Ohep/
Contact Email:

CopyRight © 1999-2020, Paul Ohep F. - All Rights Reserved. Legal Information

PW in Top 100 Energy Sites

CopyRight©1999-2020, Petroleumworld ™  / Elio Ohep - All rights reserved

This site is a public free site and it contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner.We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of business, environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have chosen to view the included information for research, information, and educational purposes. For more information go to: If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission fromPetroleumworld or the copyright owner of the material.