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USA’s Sanctions Against Venezuela Make a New Strike

Source: 1/30/2019, Location: South America

Oil prices rose on Jan. 29 after Washington imposed sanctions on state-owned Venezuelan oil company PDVSA in a move likely to curb the OPEC member’s crude exports, but gains were capped by abundant supply and signs of a slowing Chinese economy.

Venezuela has the world’s biggest proven oil reserves, but its potential has not been realized fully because of a lack of investment. The country is also a member of OPEC, which is implementing a supply cut deal to shore up prices.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and national security adviser John Bolton announced the sanctions against Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. -- the parent company of the US-based Citgo oil company -- on Monday afternoon from the White House briefing room. The measure blocks about $7 billion in assets and would result in more than $11 billion in lost assets over the next year.

The United States has been the biggest buyer of Venezuelan oil despite their political differences, taking about half of the country’s export volumes, followed by India and China.

Petromatrix estimated that Venezuelan exports will drop by about 500,000 bbl/d under current conditions.

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