US sales of oil by-products to Venezuela up 195%
Venezuela bought 71,000 barrels per day of US oil by-products in January-October 2012
These figures reflect the complicated operating conditions experienced by the Venezuelan oil-refining sector last year as, from January to October 2012, the US exported to Venezuela 71,000 barrels of by-products per day (bpd)on average, resulting in an increase by 195% over 2011. Back then, shipments from the US to Venezuela averaged 27,000 bpd.
Upon analysis of results for October 2012, it was found that purchases of by-products from the US fell to 83,000 (57%) from 193,000 bpd in September.
This setback was due to a fall in finished gasoline purchases (from 68,000 barrels per day in September to 39,000 bpd in October), diesel (from 41,000 to 20,000 bpd), mixing gasoline (from 28,000 to 8,000 bpd), MTBE (methyl tertiary butyl ether, an oxygenate for gasoline, from 30,000 to 15,000 bpd), and special naphtha (from 28,000 to zero bpd).
September was the month with the highest volume of petroleum product purchases from the United States, directly linked to the aftermath of the fires and explosions at Amuay and El Palito refineries only a few weeks earlier. Those events took place between August and September last year.
The monthly report issued by the US Department of Energy also notes how sale of oil and by-products from Venezuela to the US fell by 84,000 barrels (8%), going from 1.03 million bpd in September to 951,000 bpd in October.
With regards to crude-oil shipments, statistics show a 7% drop, from one million bpd in September to 928,000 bpd in October.
Export of petroleum products fell 30% between September and October by cutting back from 33,000 to 23,000 bpd.
This final figure is even lower than the results recorded in January 2003 during the nationwide general strike. Over that month, 27,000 bpd of by-products were shipped to the US
On comparing the sale of these products in 2012 with transactions during the same term in 2011, the US Department of Energy found a 46% fall in the volume of products shipped.
Translated by Felix Rojas Alva
The news marked an ominous beginning, health-wise, of the year 2015: the Cardiovascular Surgery Unit at Hospital Clínico Universitario, one of the country's largest teaching hospitals, was to close completely on January 5 due to lack of medicines and surgical supplies. All patients who were waiting to be operated on were sent home. More than 10 patients waiting for surgery reportedly died there from lack of basic medical supplies in the two months prior to the closure.