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Venezuela: U.S. Sanctions Are “An Attack On The Oil Market”

The U.S. sanctions against Venezuela are affecting consumers worldwide and are an attack on the oil market, Venezuelan Oil Minister Manuel Quevedo said on Thursday.

The minister, speaking at an OPEC International Seminar today—a day before OPEC ministers meet to discuss how much production to bring back to the market to ‘ease consumer and market anxiety’—Venezuela’s Quevedo said, as carried by Platts:

“These sanctions are very strong, the sanctions are practically immobilizing PDVSA.”

“They are trying to asphyxiate PDVSA,” the minister added.

“It affects not just the Venezuelan oil sector but the consumers worldwide,” Quevedo said, referring to the sanctions.

“It’s an attack on the oil market. Oil is an instrument for development, not an instrument for a political attack.”

The U.S. has been stepping up sanctions against Venezuela, after cutting off all access of PDVSA and its sovereign to U.S. banks, and cutting off all refinancing of new debt.

Amid plummeting production, PDVSA fails to honor its supply obligations, and has started to refine imported crude oil.

Venezuela’s production plunged again in May, by 42,500 bpd from April to below 1.4 million bpd—1.392 million bpd, according to OPEC’s secondary sources. Some analysts think that the plunge to 1 million bpd production is imminent.

Quevedo, however, claims that PDVSA has been complying with its contractual and financial obligations, never missing paying “even one dollar.”

Related: Shale CEO: U.S. To Be The World’s Top Oil Producer By Fall

According to internal PDVSA reports seen by Reuters, the company’s oil exports plunged 32 percent in the first half of June compared to May.

Amid the desperate state of its oil industry, Venezuela blames the U.S. for its hardships and is siding with Iran in opposing the Saudi-Russia-led proposal for a production boost, aimed at plugging shortfalls in supply from Iran and Venezuela.

“Venezuela’s situation should not be ignored. Venezuela could be any of your countries,” Reuters quoted Quevedo as telling his fellow OPEC ministers today.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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  • Ceteris Paribus on June 26 2018 said:
    Paraskova just repeating Chavista talking points -- not useful.

    And "cutting off all refinancing of new debt", please. Who refinances NEW debt? In fact Venezuela still has full access to the financial markets of 37 nations just in the western hemisphere and many more elsewhere.
  • Tanto on June 22 2018 said:
    The pre Columbian carrying capacity of Venezuela is one million Indians. 29 million Venezuelans must leave or starve.
  • John Brown on June 22 2018 said:
    Chavez & now Maduro have destroyed the economy of Venezuela & the oil industry w their criminal, corrupt, version of socialism. Socialism soon or later destroys any state that tries any version of it, but Chavez & especially Maduro are a special kind of stupid. They looted & destroyed the goose that was laying golden eggs. The Venezuelan oil industry & left the people of Venezuela to suffer & starve. They did it w/o any help from the USA. If Maduro or his Gov of criminal thugs cared an iota for the Venezuelan they’d fly off immediately to foreign countries where they stashed their loot. But they don’t care. They will stay & loot Venezuela to the last drop of oil.

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