The United States is on track to receive nearly 3 million barrels of crude oil from Venezuela this month, according to shipping documents seen by Reuters.
Chevron is on track to ship 100,000 barrels of Venezuelan crude oil per day into the United States as part of a license it received from the U.S. Treasury Department that gives it a limited pass to move sanctioned oil, after a three-year ban.
Since obtaining its license, Chevron has exported Venezuelan crude oil for use in its Pascagoula, Mississippi, refinery, and has sold some to Phillips 66 and Valero Energy, shipping documents show—both in the United States.
Under Chevron’s limited authorization, profits from the sale of oil and petroleum products would go to paying down PDVSA’s debt to Chevron and not boosting state-run PDVSA’s profits.
Venezuela’s heavy crude oil is prized by U.S. refiners, who, until recently, looked to Russia’s heavy crude to replace it. In December, it was reported that several refiners were hitting up Chevron to get their hands on the rare Venezuelan crude oil.
While Chevron is the only oil company with approval from the U.S. to import crude oil from Venezuela, other oil and gas companies are looking for a similar authorization—including foreign oil and gas companies who are demanding fair treatment.
ConocoPhillips is also said to be looking into the possibility of selling Venezuelan crude oil in the United States as a way of offsetting some of the $10 billion it is owned by Venezuela. ConocoPhillips already has a license from the U.S. Treasury Department to negotiate a potential debt recovery with PDVSA.
Other companies, too, are looking to get back into the gain to negotiate debts with PDVSA, including Repsol and Eni.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.