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Rosneft Under Fire Over Venezuelan Crude Purchases

Rosneft Venezuela

The U.S. State Department has not warned or notified BP in any way about its role as a substantial shareholder in Russia’s Rosneft after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused Rosneft of buying Venezuelan crude despite U.S. sanctions against the country, TASS reports.

"I haven’t read it, I haven’t heard it, so I really wouldn’t be able to comment," Dudley said on the sidelines of CERAWeek. "I did not actually hear about that."

Earlier this week, Mike Pompeo accused Rosneft of defying U.S. sanctions against Caracas by continuing to buy crude oil from PDVSA, which is its joint venture partner in a local operation.

The Russian company responded by saying it was engaged in business and not politics, adding its contracts for the purchase of Venezuelan crude were signed before the sanctions against PDVSA were enforced. What’s more, Rosneft said it will evaluate the consequences of Pompeo’s statement, TASS reported yesterday and would defend its rights if it finds these have been adverse.

The U.S. Secretary of State on Monday said Russia and Cuba were to blame for the crisis in Venezuela because of their continued support for the Maduro government.

“This story is not complete without acknowledging the central role Cuba and Russia have played and continue to play in undermining the democratic dreams of the Venezuelan people and their welfare,” Reuters quoted Pompeo as saying.

“Moscow, like Havana, continues to provide political cover to the Maduro regime, while pressuring countries to disregard the democratic legitimacy of the interim president Guaido,” the U.S. Secretary of State also said.

The part of his statement that rattled Rosneft went as follows: “Russia’s state-owned company, Rosneft, continues to purchase crude oil cargoes from PDVSA, Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, in defiance of U.S. sanctions. And, Rosneft’s CEO, Igor Sechin, continues to throw a lifeline to the regime.” 

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on March 13 2019 said:
    What could the United States do against the Russian oil giant Rosneft for buying Venezuelan crude oil other than imposing more sanctions against it and also adding to the myriad of sanctions it has already imposed on Russia since 2014 or go to war with Russia.

    Intrusive US sanctions on Russia whilst very adverse in nature have neither succeeded in arresting the expansion of the Russian economy nor have been able to block the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline which will transport more Russian natural gas supplies to Germany and the European Union (EU) under the Baltic Sea once completed by November this year nor hampered Russia’s dominance in both the EU’s growing gas market and China’s fast-growing energy market.

    Russia has invested heavily in Venezuela’s oil industry and extended along with China billions of dollars in loans to the Venezuelan government to keep the Venezuelan economy afloat. And yet, US Foreign Secretary Mike Pompeo has the temerity to blame Russia and Cuba for the crisis in Venezuela because of their continued support for the Maduro government when in fact it is the United States which is exacerbating an already bad situation in Venezuela by leading a coup aiming at regime change with clear designs on the country’s huge proven oil reserves which are the world’s largest.

    And while the Venezuelan people are aware that they are facing a home-grown crisis, they don’t welcome foreign-supported regime change.

    The United States didn’t even bother to camouflage its involvement in this coup. John Bolton President Trump’s national security advisor openly urged Venezuelan military officers to back opposition leader Juan Guaidó or suffer the consequences. He even offered relief from punishing sanctions to Venezuelan military officers who betray Nicolás Maduro.

    Moreover, John Bolton openly said on national TV that “the sanctions will make a big difference to the United States economically if we could have American oil companies really invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela. It would be good for the people of Venezuela. It would be good for the people of the United States. We both have a lot at stake here making this come out the right way. A decimated oil industry in the nation with the largest proven oil reserves in the world would appear to serve some alternative interests beyond democracy and human rights.” There you have it.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London

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