Oil exports increase, but not enough to drain reserves

According to internal data from Refinitive Eikon and PDVSA, Venezuelan oil exports were down in September from last month, but not enough to reduce the high inventories that have forced the country to take care of its production.

In August, the United States expanded its efforts to punish non-US firms “materially assisting” Maduro. These sanctions reduce the number of tanker operators ready to load in Venezuelan ports, contributing to swollen swells.

Few buyers have taken Venezuela’s oil amid US efforts to oust Socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

The state-owned PDVSA and its joint ventures last month exported almost 845,000 barrels a day of raw and refined products against 770,000 bpd in August, the second lowest monthly figure this year, according to data.

Higher shipments to Cuba’s political ally and the release of goods that had been stalled in Venezuela for months due to an earlier round of sanctions contributed to the recent increase.

Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft reduced its crude Venezuelan takeover to about 360,000 bpd compared to more than 500,000 bpd in August, data showed, as Venezuelan charter vessels Rosneft have been lowering offshore for weeks. including India and Malaysia.

Venezuela’s oil storage capacity is about 65 million barrels, but many tanks are inactive due to lack of maintenance.

Raw stock ended the month at about 38.8 million barrels, nearly 3 million more than at the end of August, according to data intelligence firm Kpler.

CHINA, EUROPE AND CUBA

Ships bound for China accounted for 32% of September exports, or 270,000 bpd. Europe was the second most favored destination by 19%, and Cuba rose to third place by 17%, or almost 143,000 bpd, more than double the volume it received in previous months.

PDVSA increased exports to Cuba last month to help ease the acute fuel shortages that caused long wait at gas stations and public transport.

The United States has sought to increase pressure on the Maduro administration to try to oust him from power after a 2018 re-election that was widely regarded as a shame.

At least five crude cargoes in tankers registered by Sh.S. Chevron Corp that had been stuck in Venezuelan waters since late January returned to PDVSA last month. Some of the ships again loaded with exports destined for Europe, Refinitive data showed.

Venezuela last month imported 161,000 bpd of refined products for its consumption and re-export, up from 210,000 bpd in August, although domestic fuel production itself fell due to frequent refinery cuts. Rosneft and Repsol of Spain were the main suppliers of imported fuel, according to the data./Investing.com

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