MOSCOW: The export of oil from Venezuela has been significantly decreasing against the background of US sanctions on the Venezuelan PDVSA state energy giant as well as the growing political crisis in the country, media reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.
Such a decline casts shadow on the global market as Venezuela is one of the biggest oil producers in the world.
The oil exports currently stand at way below 1 million barrels daily, which is a more-than 10 percent drop from December and a less than half decline from Venezuela's oil production 18 months ago, the Wall Street Journal newspaper reported.
The exports are dropping because of the Venezuelan government's struggles to find buyers for oil as it demands advance payment for the shipments as well as mass defection of workers in the industry and shortages of imported oil byproducts, according to the newspaper.
âThis is an absolute disaster â¦ There's almost no way to move the oil,â Luis Hernandez, the leader of the Venezuelan oil union, said, as quoted by the media outlet.
The oil tankers linked to the Russian Lukoil energy giant and the US Chevron company, among others, have been delayed or redirected over the past weeks due to the payment problems with Caracas, the sources told the newspaper.
Last week, the United States blocked all assets of PDVSA in its jurisdiction and imposed a ban on deals with the company.
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters that by blocking PDVSA's assets, the United States was taking care of this company in the interests of the people of Venezuela and also protecting its own market.