CARACAS, Tuesday January 21, 2014 | Update

Sale of Venezuelan oil to the US near 750,000 bpd in 2013

In 2008, Venezuela sold 1.14 million bpd of oil to the United States

Fewer shipments of Venezuelan oil to the United States have made an impact on Citgo imports (File photo)
Tuesday January 21, 2014  08:30 AM
Venezuelan oil shipments to the United States continue downsizing, according to preliminary data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Based on the information, in January-December, Venezuela sent approximately 750,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil; 21% less than 959,000 bpd in 2012.

As compared with in 2007 volumes, the drop amounts to 35%. Six years ago, 1.14 million bpd were sold to the United States, accounting for 39% of Venezuelan oil exports.

Nowadays, Venezuelan oil sales to the United States –collected in cash and mostly going to Pdvsa's subsidiary Citgo- are tantamount to 30% of total shipments of Venezuelan oil.

The setback is concurrent with less production in Venezuela –a 0.71% drop according to numbers released by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and supplied by the Venezuelan Ministry of Petroleum and Mining- and with the closer energy relationship between Venezuela and some other countries. China and India, for instance, are the focal point of Venezuelan authorities.

Last year, Pdvsa sent about 320,000 bpd of oil to India and approximately 600,000 bpd of oil to China.

Shipments to China represent part of the payment for funding under the China-Venezuela Joint Fund. Therefore, the cash flow of such exports does not go straight to Pdvsa.

Furthermore, curtailed shipments to the United States are mirrored in Citgo operating results in the first 10 months of 2013. The subsidiary has been replacing Venezuelan oil with US products.

Reuters reported that as the Venezuelan oil basket gets scarcer, Citgo should get oil produced in the United States.

EIA data show that Citgo imported a total volume of 510,000 bpd in the first 10 months of 2013, a 26% decrease compared to 2011.

And Venezuelan oil purchase shed 19% to 197,000 bpd, below the quota set in the supply agreement with Pdvsa, at 250,000 bpd.