China absorbs oil Venezuela ceases to sell to the US

Oct 22, 2007 02:00 AM

Venezuela long time ago stopped looking at the United States as the ideal market for its oil sales. After a general strike in 2002-2003, Venezuela managed to take oil exports to the United States to a peak of 1.55 mm bpd. However, as of 2004 oil shipments to the US have been declining steadily.
Between 2004 and the first half to 2007, Venezuelan sales of crude oil and by-products fell 194,000 bpd, according to the US Department of Energy.

In parallel, energy relations between Venezuela and China have been flourishing. Despite the distance between the two countries, the need to go through the Panama Canal to take oil tankers from Venezuela to China, and the lack of refineries suitable to process heavy, high-sulphur content crude oil from Venezuela, the Venezuelan state-run oil firm PdVSA sold China an unprecedented amount of 359,000 bpd in September.
Based on the data, Venezuela has shipped an average of 197,000 bpd of crude oil and by-products to China so far this year.

Early this year, Venezuelan exports comprised a similar proportion of crude oil and fuel oil -- the latter being a fuel hard to place in markets. In September, however, oil sales to China climbed because of increased exports of fuel oil, which grew almost 74 %, for an average of 243,330 bpd.
Further, based on the rationale provided by PdVSA’s Marketing and Supply Division, the volume of Venezuelan oil sales to China in September is expected to remain unchanged until December, as low figures in February-March came because bilateral energy relations were not fully regularized.

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