Venezuelan Oil Exports Crater as OPEC+ Set to Unleash More Crude
The remains of a grounded ship in Carupano, Sucre state, Venezuela. ( Photographer: Carlos Becerra/Bloomberg)

Venezuelan Oil Exports Crater as OPEC+ Set to Unleash More Crude

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Venezuelan oil exports plummeted last month as U.S. sanctions have left some of the South American country’s cargoes stranded in Asia and competition with fellow OPEC+ members is set to heat up.

A linchpin of the Venezuelan economy, the sales slumped by about half from November to 231,613 barrels a day, according to shipping reports and vessel-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg. For the year, exports fell to their lowest in about seven decades.

Cargoes that loaded in December could arrive in Asia as early as this month just as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies increase supplies.

Venezuelan Oil Exports Crater as OPEC+ Set to Unleash More Crude

Venezuela has managed to defy sweeping U.S. sanctions against state-owned producer Petroleos de Venezuela SA and keep shipping some crude abroad, mainly to China. But Washington has intensified the crackdown on companies that break the restrictions and PDVSA, as the producer is known, has struggled to sell its barrels in Asia.

  • Click here for a table of vessel loadings and volumes

Tankers that left Venezuelan ports as far back as April have been known to discharge their contents months later, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Vessels typically incur daily fees, and long waits to dock can be costly under standard shipping contracts.

Ships carrying Venezuelan crude were said to have turned off their satellite-signaling devices and painted over their names to hide their identity and avoid detection, people with knowledge of the situation have said.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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