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U.S. Imposes Deadline on Venezuelan Oil Transactions

25 April, 2024 Kpler

In a significant policy shift, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has replaced General License 44, intensifying restrictions on transactions within Venezuela's oil and gas sector. Effective April 17, 2024, American entities now face a May 31 deadline to conclude all such transactions, marking a critical moment in U.S.-Venezuela relations ahead of the forthcoming presidential election in July.

The implications of this decision resonate deeply, particularly within the realm of oil trade. Over the past six months, Venezuela has exported approximately 30 million barrels of crude to the U.S., a flow that will now be redirected to alternative trading partners like China and India, as per data from Kpler. Similarly, imports of petroleum products, traditionally dependent on the U.S., are poised to shift towards suppliers such as Russia or Iran.

Conversely, U.S. product exports, previously earmarked for Venezuela, are now set to explore new markets in countries like Mexico, Chile, and Brazil. This shift underscores the dynamic nature of global trade alliances and the constantly evolving geopolitical landscape.

Nevertheless, lingering questions persist regarding the impact of the Venezuelan oil export ban on the flow of Russian oil into the region. Recent revelations shed light on deceptive shipping practices aimed at circumventing sanctions on Russian oil.

One such instance involves the vessels LIGERA (9237072) and MARBELLA (9222455), both insured by The West of England Ship Owners Mutual Insurance Association. Previously, Marine Traffic reported on LIGERA's receipt of Russian crude oil back in January. Satellite imagery from March 5, 2024, reveals a ship-to-ship transfer of 1.1 million barrels of Russian crude oil from LIGERA to MARBELLA in the anchorage of Amuay, Venezuela.


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