Valero Boosts Imports of Venezuelan Oil as Sanctions Loom
U.S. refiner Valero Energy Corp this year boosted its imports of Venezuelan crude ahead of U.S. sanctions over the country's disputed presidential election and as other customers received less of the OPEC-member's exports, according to Thomson Reuters trade flows data.Venezuelan oil production has tumbled to a multi-decade low this year, cutting shipments to buyers in the United States and elsewhere and worsening a severe economic recession. Its crude exports averaged 1.19 million barrels per day (bpd) in the January-April period…
Venezuela Dodges Oil Asset Seizures with Export Transfers at Sea
Venezuela's state-run oil company PDVSA has limited the damage from an unprecedented slump in crude exports by transferring oil between tankers at sea and loading vessels in neighboring Cuba to avoid asset seizures.But the OPEC member nation is still fulfilling less than 60 percent of its obligations under supply deals with customers.Venezuela has been pumping oil this year at the lowest rate in three decades after years of underinvestment and a mass exodus of workers. The state…
PDVSA to Reopen Damaged Port Dock by Month's End
PDVSA expects to reopen the south dock of Venezuela's main oil port Jose by the end of September, easing strains on crude exports delayed due to a tanker collision last month, according to internal trade documents from the state-run oil firm seen by Reuters.Last week, PDVSA began diverting tankers to Puerto la Cruz for loading, but the South American country's crude exports have remained slow in recent weeks as few customers have accepted the 500,000-barrel-per-cargo maximum neighboring terminals can handle.Besides Puerto la Cruz…
Pemex Resumes Light Crude Sales to U.S. West Coast
Mexico's Pemex has quietly begun shipping light Isthmus crude to a variety of West Coast refiners this year, according to U.S. and Reuters data, resuming such sales after a six-year hiatus. The state-run oil company, which exported only about 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) of Isthmus last year, shipped about 340,000 barrels of the crude to Valero Energy Corp at Benicia, California, in January and February, according to U.S. government data. It sent another 350,000 barrels (48,000 tonnes) to Tesoro Corp in San Francisco in March, according to Eikon's trade flow database based on PIERS data. Pemex then exported another 150,000 barrels to Shell Trading at Anacortes, Washington, in May from the Salina Cruz terminal.
Venezuela's Crude Sales to U.S. Fall in July
Venezuela's crude exports to the United States declined to 494,400 barrels per day (bpd) in July after rising the prior three months, showing the impact of asset seizures against state-run oil firm PDVSA, according to Thomson Reuters data.July was the first month crude exports fell below 500,000 bpd since the months of January through March.U.S. oil producer ConocoPhillips in May began seizing PDVSA's overseas assets in an attempt to collect on a $2 billion arbitration award.
PDVSA Raises Prospect of Force Majeure on Oil Exports
OPEC member Venezuela has raised the prospect of declaring force majeure on contracts with major crude buyers amid plummeting output from its oil fields and tanker bottlenecks at ports, according to three sources familiar with the matter.Falling production from Venezuela has contributed to a rally in global oil prices to a near four-year high, and other OPEC members may boost output at a meeting later this month to compensate for the shortfall and other risks to global supplies.Oil is the financial lifeline for the embattled socialist government of President Nicolas Maduro…
Coalition Urges Congress to Address Asian Carp in the Great Lakes
A coalition of maritime business and industry organizations sent a letter to key Members of Congress on Friday, March 24 urging funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) to further support efforts undertaken by the State of Illinois to slow, stop and reverse the migration of Asian carp, an aquatic invasive species, through cost-effective measures. In the letter, the UnLock Our Jobs (UOJ) coalition members review the record of success that the GLRI has had in working with the State of Illinois to develop a range of strategies to control Asian carp…
PDVSA Readies Armada of Fuel Imports
About a dozen tankers are sailing to Venezuela or waiting offshore to discharge cargoes after state-run oil company PDVSA ramped up tenders to buy gasoline and other fuels to offset its weak refining output, according to traders and Thomson Reuters data. Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) recently awarded BP , Castleton Commodities, Rosneft and CT Energia contracts to buy more than 15 cargoes of gasoline blend stock, diesel, vacuum gasoil, catalytic naphtha and cutter stock for delivery from April through May. The total volume expected for the coming weeks surpasses 4 million barrels, according to traders and tender documents circulated by PDVSA. Venezuela can produce up to 1.3 million barrels per day (bpd) of fuels at its refineries.
ACL Recognizes Safe Liquid Cargo Handlers
American Commercial Lines presented Marine Environmental Stewardship Awards on Wednesday, July 16 in Houston, Texas, recognizing 35 customers for safe handling of chemicals, petroleum products and other liquid cargos. The customers recognized by ACL safely handled over two billion gallons of chemicals, petroleum products and other liquid cargoes with the barge transportation company in 2013. Recipients of the award are: Axiall Corporation; BASF Corporation; Bayer Corporation; Bunge North America…
Venezuelan Crude Sales to US Declined 7% in March
Exports of Venezuelan crude to the United States fell almost 7 percent in March versus the same month of 2015 to 793,581 barrels per day (bpd), according to Thomson Reuters Trade Flows data, affected by delays at the country's main oil port. Even though the sales recovered versus the previous two months, when they hit record lows, the increase was not enough to reach last year levels. State-run oil company PDVSA and its joint ventures sent 52 crude cargoes to the United States last month, according to the data, made with preliminary figures. PDVSA's refining unit, Citgo Petroleum, was the main receiver, along with Valero Energy , Phillips 66 and Chevron Corp.
Venezuelan Crude Sales to the US Down in March
Venezuelan crude oil sales to the United States declined in March for the third month in a row this year to 651,710 barrels per day due to falling exports of main grade Merey, according to Thomson Reuters trade flows data. Venezuela's crude output fell in 2016 to its lowest level in 23 years. Analysts expect another decline in 2017 due to lack of investment and to cash flow problems affecting state-run oil firm PDVSA, which controls more than 40 joint ventures for exploration and production. The volume of Venezuelan crude that PDVSA and its joint ventures exported in March was down by 2.3 percent from February and by 18 percent from a year earlier.
Venezuelan Crude Sales to US Fell 8% in April
Venezuelan crude sales to the United States declined 8.3 percent in April to 734,700 barrels per day (bpd) compared with the same month of 2015, amid delays at PDVSA's main ports, according to Thomson Reuters trade flows and vessel tracking data. State-run oil firm PDVSA and its joint ventures sent a total of 45 crude cargoes to customers in the United States last month versus 54 cargoes in April of 2015 and 52 in March. Equipment malfunctioning at Jose port has been occurring since March, causing delays to load and discharge tankers. This has also resulted in a backlog of vessels around PDVSA's Bullenbay terminal in the Caribbean island of Curacao. PDVSA this week said it is installing three new loading arms to speed up operations at Jose.
Venezuela Considers Importing Crude for the First Time
Venezuela is considering importing crude oil for the first time ever and could use a light oil from its partner in OPEC, Algeria, to dilute their own heavy crude, according to a company document seen by Reuters accessed on Wednesday. Despite having the largest oil reserves in the world, in recent years Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) has been buying increasing amounts of heavy naphtha for blending with the extraction of heavy crude in the Orinoco Oil Belt, the largest producing region . These blends are made to convert the extra-an exportable product, amid the decline in local production of medium and light crude oils previously used as diluents and delays in construction of new breeders that can change the quality of the crude.
PDVSA Halts Exports of Diluted Crude for Oct
Venezuela's state-run PDVSA has put on hold its plans to export diluted crude oil (DCO) in October as the company reviews production costs that have risen on imports of costly naphtha that it uses to mix with its extra heavy crude, traders told Reuters on Friday. The move comes as the company scrambles to cut costs to partially solve its well-known cash flow problems. Reuters reported on Wednesday that PDVSA is considering importing Algerian Saharan Blend light crude instead of costly naphtha that it has been buying since 2013 to use for its blends. One of several sources who was told of the halt by the company said it might also try to raise DCO prices to better offset import costs. "Sales of DCO are suspended, but PDVSA said it won't stop production of these crudes.
Venezuelan Crude Sales to the US Jump 4% in May
Venezuelan crude oil sales to the United States rose nearly 4 percent in May to 762,000 barrels per day (bpd) after declining since January amid falling output and delays at the country's main oil port, according to Thomson Reuters data on Tuesday. The United States last month received 47 cargoes of Venezuelan crude, a 3.7 percent increase versus the previous month, but still a 2 percent decline versus May 2015, according to trade flows data made with preliminary figures. A larger number of shipments of diluted crude oil (DCO) and Merey blend received by PDVSA's customers, including its refining unit Citgo Petroleum, Valero Energy and Phillips 66, contributed to the growth.
Venezuela Ships More Oil to US in July vs June
Venezuela's PDVSA and its joint ventures last month shipped 638,325 barrels per day (bpd) of crude to the United States, a 30 percent increase over June due to larger sales of upgraded oil, according to Thomson Reuters trade flows data. Venezuelan crude output has declined this year to its lowest point in 27 years due to a lack of investment and payment delays to oil service firms, affecting exports to customers in key markets including the United States. Even though the volume of crude sent to the United States in July was larger than the previous month, it was 22 percent below the same month in 2016. The main U.S. receiver of Venezuelan crude last month was refiner Valero Energy, followed by PDVSA's refining unit in the United States, Citgo Petroleum.
Retail Gasoline Prices Surge in Harvey's Choppy Wake
Nearly a quarter of U.S. refining capacity out; Motiva down for two weeks; Corpus Christi starts to reopen. Retail U.S. gasoline prices hit two-year highs and global shipping routes were scrambled as the nation's largest refiners remained shut on Friday, even as Harvey was losing strength. Major fuel pipelines feeding the U.S. Northeast and Midwest have been either closed or severely curtailed, prompting shortages in some areas and dramatic spikes in wholesale prices. The storm…
Aruba, Citgo sign MOU to Explore Refinery Restart
Aruba's Energy Ministry said on Friday it has signed a memorandum of understanding with PDVSA's U.S. unit Citgo Petroleum to explore reopening and operating the island's refinery, idled since 2012. The 235,000-barrel-per-day refinery was operated buy U.S. firm Valero Energy, but it closed because of low margins. Since then the facility has been used as a storage terminal. "Citgo will send a group to evaluate the refinery technically and financially," Aruba's government said in a statement. Because of its proximity to the Venezuelan coast, PDVSA and Aruba's government have had talks since 2012 about a purchase or an operating agreement, but without any success. Reporting by Sailu Urribarri
Venezuelan Crude Exports to US Fell 10% in Sept
Venezuelan crude exports to the United States declined 10 percent in September versus the previous month due to lower sales of heavy and medium grades to some of regular customers, according to Reuters trade flows data and PDVSA trade documents. State-run oil company PDVSA and its joint ventures sent 44 crude cargoes to the United States last month carrying 724,230 barrels per day (bpd), compared with 807,065 bpd in August. Sales of diluted crude oil (DCO) made with naphtha rose again to 348,200 bpd, from 311,130 bpd in August, but the increase was not enough to offset an export decline to regular clients including PDVSA's refining unit Citgo Petroleum, Motiva Enterprises, Phillips 66 and PBF Energy's Chalmette refinery.
Mystik Lube Caters for Wider Marine Engine Range
Houston-based supplier Mystik informs that its lubricants will now be available in a wider range of 4-cycle FC-W marine engine oil viscosity grades, including full synthetics 10W-30 and 10W-40 as well as the new synthetic blends 25W-40 and 25W-50. Formulated to meet the demanding requirements of 4-cycle marine engines, Mystic say that the new products deliver unmatched performance, protection and cleanliness for engines requiring FC-W engine oils. In addition to providing superior wear…
Venezuelan Sales of New Crude Blends to US Double in Jan
Sales to the United States of new Venezuelan crude blends made with imported oil nearly doubled in January to 176,000 barrels per day (bpd), but the rise was not enough to offset a decline in total oil shipments, according to Reuters trade data. Venezuela's state-run company PDVSA started buying Algerian light crude in October from Sonatrach to use it as diluent for its own extra heavy oil output. China and the United States have been receiving cargoes of the new blends since then, but disagreements over terms of the Algerian oil sales have caused PDVSA to halt the purchases, according to industry sources. PDVSA and its joint venture partners sent 736,000 bpd of crude to the United States last month, down 10.5 percent from December.
PDVSA Halts Caribbean Storage, Shipping; Diverts Oil Cargo
Venezuela's state-run PDVSA suspended oil storage and shipping from its Caribbean facilities following a move by ConocoPhillips to temporarily seize the firm's assets on four islands, according to a PDVSA source and Reuters data.PDVSA has begun concentrating most shipping in its main crude terminal of Jose on Venezuela's eastern coast and recalling tankers to Venezuelan waters to avoid seizures that would further cut its exports and worsen an economy on the verge of collapse.U.S.…
U.S. Refiners Cash in on Mexico's Record Imports
U.S. Gulf Coast refiners are cashing in on rising fuel demand from Mexico, shipping record volumes to a southern neighbor that has failed to expand its refining network to supply a fast-growing economy. The fuel trade could top a million barrels per day (bpd) at times in 2017 as Mexico becomes increasingly dependent on the United States for strategic energy supplies and providing business worth more than $15 billion a year to refiners such as Valero, Marathon Petroleum and Citgo Petroleum.