According to Bloomberg sources, the Trump administration is considering measures to impose additional sanctions on Venezuela. The measures may target crude oil swaps with companies in Asia and Europe.
US officials discussed the move for several months, but initially prioritized measures against Iran, which has begun exporting gasoline to fuel-hungry Venezuela.
Last week, the United States confiscated the contents of four Iranian tankers carrying more than 1.1 million barrels of gasoline into the country. Venezuela is unable to produce its own gasoline and other refined products from crude due to mechanical failures at the refineries. While imported fuel is essential for farmers and truck drivers who transport food across the country.
Venezuela’s oil exports have fallen to about 535,000 barrels per day this year, the lowest level since 1950 because US refiners shunned.
Companies including Reliance of India, Spain’s Repsol and Italy’s Eni have loaded the oil in exchange for supplying diesel to Venezuela.
According to updated estimates by BP, Venezuela’s average production rate for 2019 is about 918 thousand barrels per day, while its proven oil reserves on 1/1/2020 are about 304 billion barrels, which are the largest in the world.