Devastating Sanctions: Iran and Venezuela hurting

Iran's crude exports slide to 500,000 bpd or less: sources

 

LONDON (Reuters) - Iranian crude oil exports have fallen in May to 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) or lower, tanker data showed and industry sources said, after the United States tightened the screws on Tehran’s main source of income, deepening global supply losses.

The United States reimposed sanctions on Iran in November after pulling out of a 2015 nuclear accord between Tehran and six world powers. Aiming to cut Iran’s sales to zero, Washington this month ended sanctions waivers importers of Iranian oil.

Iran has nonetheless sent abroad between 250,000 bpd and 500,000 bpd of oil so far in May, according to two industry sources who track the flows. Data from Refinitiv Eikon put crude shipments at about 250,000 bpd and exports of crude and condensate, a light oil, at about 400,000 bpd.

The bulk of the crude is heading for Asia, the industry sources said. It is unclear who is buying and whether the oil is heading to end-users or storage.

An Iranian official declined to comment on the export rate.

 

“The destinations are essentially India and China,” one of the industry sources, who declined to be identified, said. “No more to Europe or to Turkey.”

Iran’s exports have more than halved since April, when Iran shipped less than 1 million bpd. They are also less than a fifth of the more than 2.5 million bpd that Iran shipped in April 2018, the month before President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the nuclear deal.

Iranian exports have become more opaque since U.S. sanctions returned in November. Tehran no longer reports its production figures to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and there is no definitive information on exports.

Some of Iran’s oil exports are already under the radar, making it harder to assess volumes.

Crude exports of 500,000 bpd would be towards the lower end of expectations, based on comments this month from an Iranian official and an OPEC delegate.

 

The Iranian official, who is familiar with oil policy, had forecast exports could drop to 700,000 bpd but possibly as low as 500,000 bpd. The OPEC source said they are likely to continue at about 400,000 to 600,000 bpd.

Some analysts expect May shipments to be even less. Sara Vakhshouri, of consultancy SVB Energy International, expected exports between 200,000 bpd and 550,000 bpd.

“Iran already has plenty of stored oil and condensate in China,” she said. “So we don’t expect a significant shipment of oil in the month of May.”

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Gas station lines reappear in Venezuela as refinery halts, fuel imports plunge

PUNTO FIJO, Venezuela/MEXICO CITY May 16 (Reuters) - Gas station lines reappeared across oil-rich but crisis-stricken Venezuela this week as gasoline imports plunged and the country’s second-largest oil refinery halted operations.

Shortages of motor fuel have become a periodic occurrence across OPEC member Venezuela, particularly in border regions where smuggling to neighboring countries is common, the result of generous subsidies from state-run oil company PDVSA that have led to nearly-free gasoline.

But this week lines at gas stations in the border states of Zulia and Bolivar were longer than usual, according to Reuters witnesses, and hours-long lines appeared outside service stations in the central states of Aragua and Carabobo. The capital Caracas showed no signs of gasoline shortages.

PDVSA’s imports of fuel and diluents, which are mixed with Venezuela’s extra-heavy crude, have plunged to 86,000 barrels per day (bpd) on average so far in May, compared with 225,000 bpd for the full month of April, according to internal PDVSA documents and Refinitiv Eikon data.

 

U.S. sanctions on PDVSA, part of a bid to pressure President Nicolas Maduro to step down, are squeezing government revenue by preventing Venezuela from shipping crude to the United States, previously its largest market.

The sanctions also block U.S. companies from exporting gasoline to Venezuela, prompting PDVSA to import fuel from farther afield.

In addition, Venezuela’s 310,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) Cardon oil refinery, operated by PDVSA, halted operations on Wednesday because of damage at some of its units, two workers at the Paraguana refining complex said. It had been operating well below capacity even before the outage.

Cardon is Venezuela’s second largest refinery after 645,000-bpd Amuay, which is adjacent to Cardon in Paraguana. As of Wednesday the refinery was processing just 115,000 bpd, one source said, while a second source said it was producing less than 140,000 bpd.

The 187,000 bpd Puerto la Cruz refinery had been offline even before the sanctions were imposed in late January, while the 146,000 bpd El Palito refinery is operating at minimum levels.

 

Neither PDVSA nor Venezuela’s oil ministry immediately responded to requests for comment.

Venezuela’s refining infrastructure has deteriorated in recent years because of lack of maintenance and investment, prompting the government to import fuel for domestic use. (Reporting by Mircely Guanipa in Punto Fijo and by Marianna Parraga in Mexico City; Additional reporting by Maria de los Angeles in Ciudad Bolivar and Mariela Nava in Maracaibo Writing by Luc Cohen; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Grant McCool)

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PDVSA offers 6.4 million barrels of discounted crude to spot market

Crude inventories continue to grow as US sanctions limit exports

Crudes priced at Dated Brent discounts between $15/b-$17/b FOB: report

 

 

Caracas, Venezuela — Venezuelan state-owned PDVSA is offering 6.4 million barrels of discounted crude oil to Russian, Chinese and Indian companies, according to a company official and reports seen by S&P Global Platts.

 

"We are negotiating under spot contracts three shipments of 1.8 million barrels each of Merey 16 crude and 1 million barrels of DCO by May," said the PDVSA official, who spoke to Platts on the condition of anonymity.

According to a PDVSA report, a cargo of 1.8 million barrels of Merey 16 crude that would have been loaded into the Spring Splendor tanker during April 24-26 was rescheduled for May as a spot sale.

The tanker Spring Splendor unloaded a cargo of 975,000 barrels of Nigerian light crude (Agbami) at the Jose terminal, in Anzoategui state, during an April 18-20 window. The Nigerian oil was to be used as an extra heavy crude diluent, the report said.

Crudes are being priced at Dated Brent discounts between $15/b and $17/b, FOB, according to a PDVSA report.

"Prices are outside PDVSA's parameters for the European and Asian markets, but there is a need to decrease inventories at cargo terminals, and to give operational continuity to dispatch terminals and production fields," the report said.

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Venezuelan crude oil production falls to lowest level since January 2003

 

In April 2019, Venezuela’s crude oil production averaged 830,000 barrels per day (b/d), down from 1.2 million b/d at the beginning of the year, according to EIA’s May 2019 Short-Term Energy Outlook. This average is the lowest level since January 2003, when a nationwide strike and civil unrest largely brought the operations of Venezuela’s state oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PdVSA), to a halt. Widespread power outages, mismanagement of the country’s oil industry, and U.S. sanctions directed at Venezuela’s energy sector and PdVSA have all contributed to the recent declines.

Venezuela’s oil production has decreased significantly over the last three years. Production declines accelerated in 2018, decreasing by an average of 33,000 b/d each month in 2018, and the rate of decline increased to an average of over 135,000 b/d per month in the first quarter of 2019. The number of active oil rigs—an indicator of future oil production—also fell from nearly 70 rigs in the first quarter of 2016 to 24 rigs in the first quarter of 2019. The declines in Venezuelan crude oil production will have limited effects on the United States, as U.S. imports of Venezuelan crude oil have decreased over the last several years. EIA estimates that U.S. crude oil imports from Venezuela in 2018 averaged 505,000 b/d and were the lowest since 1989.

main-7.jpg

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Short-Term Energy Outlook

EIA expects Venezuela’s crude oil production to continue decreasing in 2019, and declines may accelerate as sanctions-related deadlines pass. These deadlines include provisions that third-party entities using the U.S. financial system stop transactions with PdVSA by April 28 and that U.S. companies, including oil service companies, involved in the oil sector must cease operations in Venezuela by July 27. Venezuela’s chronic shortage of workers across the industry and the departure of U.S. oilfield service companies, among other factors, will contribute to a further decrease in production.

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Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on Baker Hughes

Additionally, U.S. sanctions, as outlined in the January 25, 2019 Executive Order 13857, immediately banned U.S. exports of petroleum products—including unfinished oils that are blended with Venezuela’s heavy crude oil for processing—to Venezuela. The Executive Order also required payments for PdVSA-owned petroleum and petroleum products to be placed into an escrow account inaccessible by the company. Preliminary weekly estimates indicate a significant decline in U.S. crude oil imports from Venezuela in February and March, as without direct access to cash payments, PdVSA had little reason to export crude oil to the United States.

India, China, and some European countries continued to receive Venezuela’s crude oil, according to data published by ClipperData Inc. Venezuela is likely keeping some crude oil cargoes intended for exports in floating storage until it finds buyers for the cargoes.

chart3-3.jpg

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Short-Term Energy Outlook, and Clipper Data Inc.

A series of ongoing nationwide power outages in Venezuela that began on March 7 cut electricity to the country’s oil-producing areas, likely damaging the reservoirs and associated infrastructure. In the Orinoco Oil Belt area, Venezuela produces extra-heavy crude oil that requires dilution with condensate or other light oils before the oil is sent by pipeline to domestic refineries or export terminals. Venezuela’s upgraders, complex processing units that upgrade the extra-heavy crude oil to help facilitate transport, were shut down in March during the power outages.

If Venezuelan crude or upgraded oil cannot flow as a result of a lack of power to the pumping infrastructure, heavier molecules sink and form a tar-like layer in the pipelines that can hinder the flow from resuming even after the power outages are resolved. However, according to tanker tracking data, Venezuela’s main export terminal at Puerto José was apparently able to load crude oil onto vessels between power outages, possibly indicating that the loaded crude oil was taken from onshore storage. For this reason, EIA estimates that Venezuela’s production fell at a faster rate than its exports.

EIA forecasts that Venezuela’s crude oil production will continue to fall through at least the end of 2020, reflecting further declines in crude oil production capacity. Although EIA does not publish forecasts for individual OPEC countries, it does publish total OPEC crude oil and other liquids production. Further disruptions to Venezuela’s production beyond what EIA currently assumes would change this forecast.
Source: EIA

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Nicolás Maduro has launched a new plan to convert oil tankers into warships, guarding them with active personnel of the Venezuelan Armed Forces (FANB), faced with the possibility that the United States may try to block the shipment of crude oil to Cuba.

“PDVSA ships under the control of the Maduro regime will now be ‘accompanied’ by active personnel of the Venezuelan Armed Forces. This notification was made through email by Ramon Sosa, Manager of the Fleet of Oil Tankers.”

The ships used by state oil company, PDVSA, some of them flying under Panamanian flags, will now be protected by Venezuelan military with weapons, prepared to face any blockade.

An e-mail sent to the FANB officials notes that the decision was made “in order to carry out training and custody functions” with respect to the vessels.

According to Hebert García Plaza, a top army general, who was a minister under Nicolás Maduro, and is now in exile, Operation Sovereign Oil, with which at least 15 vessels will have military weapons, will be managed by 47 professional military.

Lawyer Rocío San Miguel, a specialist on the Venezuelan military, denounced that the Maduro regime is converting commercial vessels into military vessels; a situation that could have consequences.

“What will happen with several of these ships that have a Panamanian flag? What will happen if a foreign military vessel on patrol in the Caribbean, requests inspection on the high seas, with military of the FANB on board?” San Miguel questioned.

The decision of the Maduro regime is a reaction to the oil embargo imposed by the United States on all shipping lines and vessels that send Venezuelan crude to other countries, especially Cuba. The United States implemented a naval blockade in order to prevent the delivery of Venezuelan oil to Cuba.

Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) said that “it is evident that the sanctions designed to block the flow of oil from Venezuela to Cuba are not working. Cuba is the source of great influence and support for the Maduro regime in Venezuela due in large part to the free oil they receive in return. It is oil in exchange for repression,” he said.

The US senator stressed that “cutting off the supply of oil to the Castro regime would be the most effective action we can take to put an end to the brutal regime of Nicolás Maduro.” He added that “it is clear that the US must consider the use of naval assets to block the flow of oil between the two dictatorships. The president proposed the idea of a total embargo on Cuba and I completely agree with him.”

Hijacking, pirates, and ghost ships to send oil to Cuba

The decision to militarize oil tankers arises after an action that could only be described as a hijacking by the Bolivarian Intelligence Service (Sebin), which took control of the Venezuelan oil tanker Manuela Sáenz to force it to transport gasoline and diesel to Cuba, in contravention of the international sanctions and the orders of the interim president of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó.

On May 1, intelligence officials decided to replace the captain of the “Manuela Sáenz” when he refused to take the ship to the island, and intimidated the crew who had protested the measure. Under threats, they boarded the ship, and in this way ensured the transfer of these fuels to the island.

After the oil embargo that the United States imposed on the Maduro regime, to accelerate its fall, the dictatorship is now seeking new ways to get oil to Cuba. Now it also engaging in piracy.

According to Miami Diario, the dictatorship is using pirates to ferry oil to more than 30 foreign vessels in order to evade the Treasury Department’s penalty.

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(edited)

On 5/19/2019 at 12:45 AM, ceo_energemsier said:

Gas station lines reappear in Venezuela as refinery halts, fuel imports plunge

 

On 5/21/2019 at 12:54 AM, ceo_energemsier said:

Angry Venezuelans wait hours for fuel as shortages worsen

Venezuela is producing oil. They can find way to sustain internal consumption of course no?? 

Once upon a time....... saw in a very old chemistry book....... about refinery....... not sure if it is still valid.......

Related image

The furnace can be heated by coal; gas; petrol etc no?? Other pressure and temperature measurements including segregation would also be independent of electricity no??......... Quesiton: Why has the disruption in electricity supply disrupted the refinery process and subseqently the basic/ minimal fuel supply? Is there no gasoline-runned-generator as back up like they usually do for emergency?? 

Just watched a travel documentary on Cuba. Former leader Mr. Fidel Castro has left some examples on how they survive in sanction............

1. Mr. Castro turned tequila production an national asset. Quote from the documentary:"Cuba is the best and probably the largest producer of tequila and cigar in the world." Besides that - "Most of the means of production are owned and run by the government"

2. Cuba allow Cubans to buy oil at a price slightly highly than the production price per litre i.e. 25 cents USD per litre......

3. Mr. Castro set up ice cream stall so that everyone - rich or poor-  able to enjoy ice cream at very low price ......

4. ......."free medical-dental and hospital care for all"........

5. "Public Education in Cuba has always been free including university of Havana.".....

6. "There is virtually no homelessness in Cuba, and 85% of Cubans own their homes and pay no property taxes or mortgage interest. Mortgage payments may not exceed 10% of a household's combined income."

7. Food ration - "The system establishes the rations with subsidized prices each person is allowed to buy through the system, and the frequency of supplies." "The Cuban government states this method of distribution serves to ensure each citizen a minimum intake of food, regardless of the person's social and economical status""Cuba reformed agricultural activity in the country to cut imports"

8. Cuba is known for its outstanding medical research despite the sanction. It goes unnoticed mainly because of language used may be..... Sports - Volleyball (and may be others) might have dominated the world championships for decades........ until recently....... 

Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rationing_in_Cuba

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_Cuba

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Healthcare_in_Cuba

 

Are those making you thinking of becoming a cuban?? ;)

......... Despite with flaws especially food rationing system and how much pay the citizens are getting - the overall achievement has been outstanding........ 

The achievement before revolution is outstanding too but also with flaws.

The points aim to show Venezuela it is not the end of the world to be banned........ the common mistake made by both countries is probably OBTAINED private properties and assets WITHOUT paying............... 

Reformation takes courage and leadership. A clear vision of what your country would be like under your leadership is a must......... The "How" would come when you know "WHY"...... results must be monitored closely so that the desirable outcomes are always delivered consistently. The failure in many countries is generally caused by loose or no control and lack of concern of the outcomes...........

Boa sorte Venezuela......... 

Edited by specinho

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5 minutes ago, specinho said:

 

Venezuela is producing oil. They can find way to sustain internal consumption of course no?? 

Once upon a time....... saw in a very old chemistry book....... about refinery....... not sure if it is still valid.......

Related image

The furnace can be heated by coal; gas; petrol etc no?? Other pressure and temperature measurements including segregation would also be independent of electricity no??......... Quesiton: Why has the disruption in electricity supply disrupted the refinery process and subseqently the basic/ minimal fuel supply? Is there no gasoline-runned-generator as back up like they usually do for emergency?? 

Just watched a travel documentary on Cuba. Former leader Mr. Fidel Castro has left some examples on how they survive in sanction............

1. Mr. Castro turned tequila production an national asset. Quote from the documentary:"Cuba is the best and probably the largest producer of tequila and cigar in the world." Besides that - "Most of the means of production are owned and run by the government"

2. Cuba allow Cubans to buy oil at a price slightly highly than the production price per litre i.e. 25 cents USD per litre......

3. Mr. Castro set up ice cream stall so that everyone - rich or poor-  able to enjoy ice cream at very low price ......

4. ......."free medical-dental and hospital care for all"........

5. "Public Education in Cuba has always been free including university of Havana.".....

6. "There is virtually no homelessness in Cuba, and 85% of Cubans own their homes and pay no property taxes or mortgage interest. Mortgage payments may not exceed 10% of a household's combined income."

7. Food ration - "The system establishes the rations with subsidized prices each person is allowed to buy through the system, and the frequency of supplies." "The Cuban government states this method of distribution serves to ensure each citizen a minimum intake of food, regardless of the person's social and economical status""Cuba reformed agricultural activity in the country to cut imports"

8. Cuba is known for its outstanding medical research despite the sanction. It goes unnoticed mainly because of language used may be..... Sports - Volleyball (and may be others) might have dominated the world championships for decades........ until recently....... 

Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rationing_in_Cuba

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_Cuba

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Healthcare_in_Cuba

 

Are those making you thinking of becoming a cuban?? ;)

......... Despite with flaws especially food rationing system - the overall achievement has been outstanding........ 

The achievement before revolution is outstanding too but also with flaws.

The points aim to show Venezuela it is not the end of the world to be banned........ the common mistake made by both countries is probably OBTAINED private properties and assets WITHOUT paying............... 

Reformation takes courage and leadership. A clear vision of what your country would be like under your leadership is a must......... The "How" would come when you know "WHY"...... results must be monitored closely so that the desirable outcomes are always delivered consistently. The failure in many countries is generally caused by loose or no control and lack of concern of the outcomes...........

Boa sorte Venezuela......... 

All those are making me want to throw up non stop!!!!!! LOL

Very good Pro-Cuba propaganda , all commies are good @ it , same thing in Venezuela. You should interview all the Cubans living in Florida, see how they feel about it and they are still trying to get out of Cuba on rafts made out of old plastic containers.. If it was heaven on earth with all free things, and life was a peach

on the beach, why did all these Cubans escape and keep on trying to escape? LOL All those make it sound like Utopia,

I guess the ones who like it suffer from Myopia

 

They cant produce oil from their fields because they dont have power, they dont have power because they dont have oil products to fire up their power plants

for decades the degradation of the Venezuelan oil industry was happening under Hugo and then Maduro

They all had free things for all, free for all, and raiding PDVSA for its money and resources now PDVSA is essentially dead!!!!

 

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China’s crude oil imports from Saudi Arabia up 43%

 

China’s crude oil imports from Saudi Arabia rose 43 percent in April, making the Middle Eastern OPEC kingpin once again the top supplier to the world’s second-biggest economy, boosted by demand from new private refiners.

Saudi imports grew to 6.30 million tons, or 1.53 million barrels per day (bpd) on a daily basis, compared with 1.07 million bpd in the year ago period, according to data from the General Administration of Customs released on Saturday.

Saudi shipments were supported by higher refinery run rates at Hengli Petrochemical Co. Ltd, with production at the 400,000 bpd-capacity refinery in northeast China expected to reach optimal levels in late June. About 70 percent of the feedstock for Hengli came from Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile Russian supplies were 6.12 million tons, or 1.49 million bpd, up from 1.35 million bpd in April last year.

China in April imported 3.24 million tons of crude oil from Iran, or 789,137 bpd, up from March’s 541,100 bpd, as companies ramped up buying before the scrapping of sanctions waivers the US had granted to big buyers of Iranian oil.

China Petrochemical Corp. (Sinopec Group) and China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC), the country’s top state-owned refiners, are halting Iranian oil purchases for loading in May, three people with knowledge of the matter said.

Venezuela shipments stood at 1.9 million tons, or 462,813 bpd in April, up 85 percent versus 249,700 bpd in March, while crude imports from Iraq were 3.31 million tons, or 806,372 bpd, down from 904,500 bpd the previous month.
Source: Reuters

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Japan’s Apr oil imports from Iran drop 52% on month to 141,712 b/d: METI

 

Japan cut its Iranian crude oil imports by 51.6% month on month to 141,712 b/d in April before the expiry of US sanction waivers on May 2, according to data released Friday by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

The volume imported in March, 292,648 b/d, was the highest level since September 2016.

On an year-on-year basis, the Iranian inflows in April, however, spiked 358.5% as Japanese refiners intended to complete their imports of Iranian oil by mid-April, when there was a lack of clarity over whether the US would extend the waivers.

The US government announced in late April that it would end all sanction waivers on Iranian oil imports, due to expire May 2.

On the other hand, Japanese refiners looked at supplies from Ecuador and the Middle East to replace Iranian crude oil.

As a result, the country’s Ecuadorian crude oil imports hit 40,248 b/d in April, surging 69.6% from March and 91.9% from the same month of last year, according to METI data.

Imports from Kuwait and Iraq in April also jumped 52.4% and 310.1% month on month to 329,659 b/d and 127,274, respectively.

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