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U.S. sanctions on Venezuela would reroute crude, leave refiners short

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US refineries, which depend on Venezuela’s heavy oil, will have even more problems with supplying supplies, as Canadian and Mexican reserves are often not as depreciated and limited in stock.

The United States views steps to curb Venezuela’s oil supplies, which account for almost all of the country's exports, in response to the re-election of President Nicolas Maduro, which was widely perceived as a hoax.

Washington recognized opposition leader Juan Guaydo as president of Venezuela when protests against Maduro erupted across the country. He is also considering sanctions on oil supplies, and this step has not yet been carried out, sources in an energy company told Reuters on Wednesday.
According to the US Department of Energy, in 2018, Venezuela, on average, exported about 500,000 barrels of oil per day to the United States. The share of the United States in its exports in recent years has declined, as more and more supplies go to Russia and China.

SCHEDULE: Venezuelan oil exports to the USA: tmsnrt.rs/2S4YIXB

These deliveries are carried out mainly through debt repayment structures for oil, since the output of the state-owned oil company Petróleos de Venezuela, SA, known as PDVSA [PDVSA.UL], fell to almost 70-year lows during the national economic crisis. According to OPEC secondary sources, production in Venezuela has halved from 2016 to less than 1.2 million barrels per day.

After the introduction of sanctions, the country may seek additional agreements with Turkey, India or other Asian countries, said one of the Venezuelan oil traders.
"It will be costly for Venezuela, but ultimately they will be able to sell this oil to Asia at a discount. There will be a period in the middle when they have difficulty selling these barrels, ”said Francisco Monaldi, a research fellow for Latin American energy policy at the Baker Institute of Public Policy at Rice University in Houston.

SCHEDULE: Leading US Importers of Venezuelan Oil: tmsnrt.rs/2RYGk2E

Although the United States produces almost 12 million barrels of oil per day, complex refineries on the Gulf Coast need more heavy oil to produce diesel fuel and other high-yield products and cannot simply process light oil.

Prices for heavier US grades, such as Mars Sour WTC-MRS, American crude produced on the shelf, and heavy crude Louisiana sweet oil WTC-HLS, have increased as buyers compete for supplies. According to Refinitiv Eikon, on Tuesday, Mars was trading at a premium of $ 6.25 in relation to crude oil on Tuesday - a five-year high.

"This would make a limited market even tougher. If this happens, it will be an unequivocal obstacle for refiners who are already trying to find supplies, ”said Bob McNally, president of Rapidan Energy Group, an energy consulting company in Bethesda, Maryland.
SCHEDULE: Venezuelan oil exports to US refineries: tmsnrt.rs/2S42EI5.

According to traders, the United States may need to sell oil from the US Strategic Oil Reserve to cover supply shortages, since additional supplies are provided through Canada or Mexico.

Sanctions may also include the export of petroleum products from the United States to Venezuela, used for blending with Venezuelan heavy oil.


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