October 22, 2007

Venezuela dictatorship changed US for China

Venezuela long time ago stopped looking at the United States as the ideal market for its oil sales. After a general strike in 2002-2003, Venezuela managed to take oil exports to the United States to a peak of 1.55 million bpd. However, as of 2004 oil shipments to the US have been declining steadily. Between 2004 and the first half to 2007, Venezuelan sales of crude oil and byproducts fell 194,000 bpd, according to the US Department of Energy. In parallel, energy relations between Venezuela and China have been flourishing. Despite the distance between the two countries, the need to go through the Panama Canal to take oil tankers from Venezuela to China, and the lack of refineries suitable to process heavy, high-sulfur content crude oil from Venezuela, the Venezuelan state-run oil firm Pdvsa sold China an unprecedented amount of 359,000 bpd in September. Pdvsa's Marketing and Supply Division provided the figures to daily newspaper El Universal. Based on the data, Venezuela has shipped an average of 197,000 bpd of crude oil and byproducts to China so far this year.

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