Half a dozen tankers have sailed away from Venezuela’s waters without loading, as they seek to avoid the threat of U.S. sanctions. Records have shown that Venezuela’s oil exports slumped to their lowest level since 1943 last month.
In June, state-run oil firm PDVSA and its joint ventures shipped a total of 17 cargoes, carrying about 379,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude and refined products, according to Refinitiv Eikon data and the company’s loading schedules. The low volume, unseen since 1943, was almost 18% below May exports.
The fall in oil exports has contributed to an economic collapse in the OPEC nation, leaving authorities unable to pay for essential imports such as food and medicine.
Trump’s team has increased pressure in recent months, expanding its list of sanctioned entities to include Mexican companies, oil tankers, international shipping firms and individuals that have played a role in Venezuela’s oil exports.
This has scared away customers of PDVSA and some shipping firms that had carried their cargoes.
Sanctions have also left more than a dozen loaded tankers in limbo around the world as suppliers struggle to find final buyers for the cargoes. Several of those vessels are off the waters of Malaysia and Singapore.
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