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Venezuela Has Plan B To Sell Its Oil If U.S. Imposes Sanctions

Venezuela has plans A, B, and C, and other alternatives to sell its oil if the United States were to impose oil sanctions, Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro said at a Russian energy forum on Wednesday.

At the end of August, the U.S. stepped up sanctions on Venezuela, prohibiting dealings in new debt or equity issued by state oil firm Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) or the government. A couple of weeks later Venezuela ditched the dollar and responded to what it called an “economic blockade” by suspending trade in U.S. dollars and publishing Venezuelan oil basket prices in Chinese yuan.

The U.S. has not imposed oil sanctions, but they are not entirely off the table.

“Oil is tradable, and if there is some decision to go after the oil of my country, I think the same will happen to the consumers in the US. And the companies who are our counter parties and have been such for the last 50 years will probably also suffer,” Platts quoted Maduro as saying at the Russian Energy Week today. 

“The biggest companies in the world are interested in buying our oil and oil products. Naturally we will be creating the conditions necessary to cover the needs and demands of those companies. I’m quite firm about this,” Maduro added.

U.S. imports of Venezuelan crude oil have been around 700,000 bpd earlier this year, but June and July imports—the latest available EIA data—were 616,000 bpd and 655,000 bpd, respectively.

Related: This OPEC Member Just Saw A Major Jump In Oil Revenue

PDVSA owes some US$3.5 billion to the U.S. in the next five or six weeks, according to Platts. The Venezuelan state oil firm also has bond obligations due soon. 

“Venezuela has always been able to comply with its debt and obligations, and this will be done,” Maduro said today.

According to Platts sources in Moscow, Maduro will be meeting Russia’s President Vladimir Putin later on Wednesday to discuss the state of the oil market and a potential new loan for Venezuela from Russia.

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By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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