• 4 minutes Why Trump will win the wall fight
  • 7 minutes Tension On The Edge: Pakistan Urges U.N. To Intervene Over Kashmir Tension With India
  • 12 minutes Maduro Asks OPEC For Help Against U.S. Sanctions
  • 16 minutes Washington Eyes Crackdown On OPEC
  • 5 hours Climate Change: A Summer of Storms and Smog Is Coming
  • 3 hours Itt looks like natural gas may be at its lowest price ever.
  • 5 hours America’s Shale Boom Keeps Rolling Even as Wildcatters Save Cash
  • 17 hours North Korea's Kim To Travel To Vietnam By Train, Summit At Government Guesthouse
  • 19 hours Oil imports by countries
  • 19 hours AI Will Eliminate Call Center Jobs
  • 23 hours NZ Oil, Gas Ban Could Cost $30 Bln
  • 8 hours US-backed coup in Venezuela not so smooth
  • 2 hours Amazon’s Exit Could Scare Off Tech Companies From New York
  • 1 day Ayn Rand Was Right
  • 1 day Solar and Wind Will Not "Save" the Climate
  • 1 day Indian Oil Signs First Annual Deal For U.S. OilIndian Oil Signs First Annual Deal For U.S. Oil
  • 6 hours Some Good News on Climate Change Maybe
Alt Text

Why The Oil Rally Isn’t Over Yet

OPEC+ output cuts and several…

Alt Text

OPEC’s Next Big Crisis

OPEC is facing some major…

Alt Text

How Washington Could Spoil The OPEC+ Alliance

OPEC and Russia are looking…

Irina Slav

Irina Slav

Irina is a writer for the U.S.-based Divergente LLC consulting firm with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.

More Info

Trending Discussions

U.S. Refiners Rush To Buy Heavy Oil As Trump Looks To Punish Maduro

Refiners in the United States are stocking up on heavy crude, pushing prices higher, as the Trump administration prepares to slam more punitive measures on Caracas after the inauguration of Nicolas Maduro as president of Venezuela for a second term after elections considered illegitimate by Washington.

Reuters reports that officials from the presidential administration met with oil industry executives to discuss the measures on the table, including the suspension ofrefined product exports to Venezuela or Venezuelan crude oil imports into the United States.

Gulf Coast refiners have a limited choice of supplier when it comes to heavy crude. Besides local grades such as Mars, they import the heavy crude they need to produce more than just gasoline from Canada, Venezuela, and Mexico.

It is this scarcity of alternatives that has probably stopped Trump from banning Venezuelan oil imports so far, although the blanket import ban card has been waved around a couple of times already.

However, it is possible that things may have changed now: the U.S. President earlier this week said he recognizes the president of the Venezuelan National Assembly, an opposition politician, as the legitimate president of the country.

The oil industry is strongly against such a radical measure for obvious reasons: a barrel of Mars is already trading at a premium to the benchmark WTI and this week the premium jumped by US$2.30 a barrel in just two days. What’s more, refiners simply need the half of million barrels daily they took in from Venezuela last year amid the Canadian crude oil production cut aimed at boosting prices and a continued decline in Mexican oil output.

There is also concern among experts on Latin America advising the president that blanket oil sanctions could have an effect opposite to the desired one, with the United States displaying too direct an involvement in Venezuelan domestic politics.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:




Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage

Trending Discussions


Leave a comment
  • Mamdouh Salameh on January 18 2019 said:
    As if it is not enough for the suffering of the Venezuelan people under the regime of Nicolas Maduro, new US sanctions on Venezuelan oil exports to the United States could be the last straw leading to more suffering and misery.

    Far from punishing Venezuelan President Maduro, the sanctions will end up punishing the people.

    Furthermore, it is none of the United States’ business whether Nicolas Maduro is inaugurated as president of Venezuela for a second term after elections considered illegitimate by Washington.

    I would respectfully make one suggestion to President Trump. Since his elections and under his “America First policy”, he has antagonized so many countries in the world and not only foes but close allies. How about for once presenting a caring face of America to the world and coming to the help of the suffering Venezuelan people and pursuing a less confrontational policy towards their government. He will be surprised by the results.

    The United States could do far better by putting its values and morality back at the centre of its foreign policy rather slapping sanctions and seeking regime change on countries with which it doesn’t see eye to eye.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London
  • Dan Foster on January 19 2019 said:
    Surprised Russia has not put in a refinery and gone into the oil products business. Nice location near Panama canal.

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News