Top U.S. buyers of Venezuelan crude oil are in a fix as they now have to return millions of barrels of crude oil due to sanctions on the South American nation, implemented on Jan 28 this year on its state-run energy firm PDVSA.
According to a Reuters report, PDVSA’s U.S. refining subsidiary Citgo Petroleum Corp and Valero Energy (VLO) want to return 2 million barrels of crude oil loaded before the sanctions. On the other hand, another U.S. oil company, Chevron Corp (CVX), unsuccessfully attempted to pay for 4.3 million barrels. Both of these were rejected by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control, which oversees sanctions.
Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil firm in terms of market value, further attempted to take the oil shipments in lieu of loans and dividends stemming from joint ventures with PDVSA. But it is unclear whether PDVSA would accept the offer as the sanctions forbid it to accept payments. As a result, cargoes loaded at Venezuelan ports before the sanctions now remain stranded.
As of March 8, 11 loaded vessels reportedly remained anchored off ports in Venezuela, two other CVX-chartered cargoes were stuck off the U.S. Gulf Coast and a third was returned to Venezuela’s Amuay terminal.