White House Is Said to Be Unlikely to Restrict Venezuelan Crude
(Bloomberg) -- The Trump administration is unlikely to ban imports of Venezuelan crude even as it considers a slate of sanctions on the country’s energy sector, said a person familiar with those White House deliberations.
U.S. officials have not made any decisions on what, if any, sanctions may be imposed on Venezuela, but they have serious concerns about the impacts of a crude embargo on domestic gasoline prices and the economy as a whole, said the person, who requested anonymity because the decision hasn’t been announced yet.
The administration’s caution comes as refiners lobby in Washington against the move, which would choke off supplies to U.S. refineries reliant on Venezuelan crude, including those owned by Valero Energy Corp., Phillips 66 and Chevron Corp.
The American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, the largest association of U.S. refiners, has urged Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and other cabinet officials to exempt Venezuelan crude imports from a possible sanctions package.
"Sanctions limiting U.S. imports of Venezuelan crude would disadvantage many U.S. refineries, particularly those in the Gulf Coast and East Coast regions, that have optimized to utilize sour crudes produced in Venezuela," AFPM President Chet Thompson said in a letter to President Donald Trump sent Thursday.
Refiners argue that cutting off the supply would squeeze their margins and raise gasoline prices.
Venezuela was the second largest supplier of crude oil in 2016 to the Gulf Coast, with 701,000 barrels daily, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. U.S. refineries imported 24.4 million barrels of crude from the country in April. Citgo Petroleum Corp., the U.S.-based refiner controlled by Venezuela’s state-owned oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA, takes the largest share of those imports, followed by Valero, Chevron and Phillips 66.
The White House is considering sanctions against the socialist nation in light of President Nicolas Maduro’s May announcement that he will seek to re-write the country’s constitution. Anti-government protests in Venezuela have left at least 95 dead since April.
--With assistance from Lucia Kassai
To contact the reporters on this story: Catherine Traywick in Washington at email@example.com, Jennifer A. Dlouhy in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To contact the editors responsible for this story: David Marino at email@example.com, Elizabeth Wasserman
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Generated by readers, the comments included herein do not reflect the views and opinions of Rigzone. All comments are subject to editorial review. Off-topic, inappropriate or insulting comments will be removed.
- Buying Texas Oil at New Mexico Prices: Majors Go West for Shale (Nov 14)
- Japan's JERA Imports First LNG Cargo Shipped From Chevron's Wheatstone Site (Nov 13)
- Chevron Canada Okays Duvernay Development (Nov 07)
Company: PDVSA more info
Operates 14 Offshore Rigs
Manages 26 Offshore Rigs
- Venezuela's PDVSA To Tap Oil Customers To Pay $449MM To ONGC (Nov 15)
- Venezuelan Oil Output Heads to 29-Year Low as Cash Crunch Grows (Nov 10)
- US Oil Service Firms Face Hit from Venezuela Debt Restructuring (Nov 06)