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Venezuela-US crude imports fall by 33pc on low output

29 Nov 2017, 6.18 pm GMT

Venezuela-US crude exports fall by 33pc on low output

Houston, 29 November (Argus) — Venezuelan crude exports into US refineries fell by 33.2pc in the last four weeks compared with the prior-year period as Venezuela's oil output continues a years-long decline.

Venezuelan crude exports to the US averaged 503,000 b/d over the last four weeks compared to 753,000 b/d over the same period last year, US Energy Information Administration (EIA) data shows. For the week ending 24 November, Venezuela exported 339,000 b/d to the US compared to 713,000 b/d in the same period of 2016.

Venezuelan crude volumes to key customers in China have also fallen, by 36,000 b/d or 14.9pc, to 207,000 b/d in October, compared to 243,000 b/d in the same period last year.

Lower Venezuelan crude production contributed to the large declines, as the country's output hit at least a two-year low in October amid US financial sanctions that are restricting the country's ability to fund operations and restructure debt.

Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro threatened this week to cut crude exports to the US in response to the sanctions. Much of Venezuela's oil production goes to meet debt obligations with China and Russia, making the US one of the few crude export destinations that generates cash flow.

Oil output fell by 44,000 b/d in October, to 1.86mn b/d, compared to a 4,000 b/d increase in October 2015 to 2.37mn b/d. October's output is 109,000 b/d below the country's Opec target of 1.972mn b/d.

Output is on track to fall by at least 150,000 b/d for all of 2017, according to numbers reported to Opec.

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