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Indian Buyers Of Venezuela Oil Vow Compliance As US Sanctions Hit Rosneft

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Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries is studying the impact of the newly imposed U.S. sanctions on a unit of Russia’s Rosneft over trade of Venezuelan crude oil, and will make sure that its purchases from Venezuela comply with the U.S. regulations, the Indian firm, which is a major buyer of Venezuelan oil, said on Wednesday.

“Reliance will continue its direct communications with the U.S. Government to ensure that Reliance’s purchases of Venezuelan oil after the RTSA sanctions are both compliant with U.S. sanctions and consistent with U.S. policies regarding Venezuelan oil sector,” the Indian company said in a statement, as carried by Reuters.  

On Tuesday, the United States slapped sanctions on a Geneva-based trading unit of Russian oil giant Rosneft, saying that the company Rosneft Trading has been helping Nicolas Maduro’s regime to evade sanctions and to continue selling oil to keep the regime alive.

Earlier this month, the U.S. warned companies doing business with Venezuela, including Reliance, Rosneft, and even Chevron, to “tread cautiously towards their activities in Venezuela,” because more sanctions on Maduro’s regime would be coming.  

Rosneft lifts Venezuelan oil under an oil-for-loan agreement for the loans it had extended to the Latin American country, and then sells the oil to Indian refiners that used to procure oil directly from Venezuela before the U.S. ramped up sanctions on Maduro’s regime.

Reliance says that its purchases of oil from Venezuela are being reported to Washington and are being allowed. Nevertheless, the Indian refiner reiterated that “In its dealings with Rosneft and otherwise, Reliance will continue to act in compliance with U.S. sanctions and policy guidelines.”

Another Indian refiner, Nayara Energy, in which Rosneft holds a stake, also said it complies and would continue to comply with U.S. sanctions.  

According to company and industry data and sources cited by Reuters, India was the top destination of Venezuela’s oil in January 2020, taking 38.5 percent of the Latin American country’s oil exports.  

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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