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Venezuela’s oil exports fell 14% in January, exporting less than 1 million bpd of crude and refined products for the month, according to Reuters.
The 951,903 bpd that was shipped compares to 1.1 million bpd shipped in December, and 1.38 million bpd shipping a year ago January.
Despite the falling off of crude exports for the troubled Latin American nation, its oil stocks in storage fell also—from 39.85 million barrels in September 2019 to 35.9 million barrels at the end of January according to Kpler data provided by Reuters. Most of the pre-January stock loss was due to extra crude shipments to India, who had previously stopped purchasing Venezuelan crude. Those shipments have since resumed.
The oil-glut reduction bodes well for Venezuela, which was choking on its own oil with exports stifled by US sanctions.
Venezuela’s situation is still dire. Its oil exports slid in 2019 by one-third, according to Reuters, averaging a million barrels per day for the year, as the US attempted to squeeze the country’s finances to encourage the removal of socialist leader Nicolas Maduro. Maduro has managed to hang onto power, however, but not without great cost.
Venezuela’s oil problems began well before the US sanctions, with oil production falling from an average of 2.319 million bpd in 2015, to just 714,000 bpd in December 2019, due to mismanagement and corruption.
Venezuela’s main outlets for its crude oil consist now mainly of India, China, Russia, and Cuba.
Last year, Venezuela PDVSA announced plans to boost its oil production for this year to 1.2 million bpd—an increase of roughly a half a million barrels per day. The plan, however, lacked specificity. Last month, Venezuela was rumored to have discussed with Rosneft, Repsol, and Eni the possibility of giving up control of some of its state-owned oil assets.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.