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PDVSA having hard time finding buyers for 677,000 b/d of February crude


PDVSA estimates February output at 850,000 b/d

Offering to pay off debts with crude

Without buyers, PDVSA may reduce output

Caracas, Venezuela — Venezuela's state owned PDVSA has 677,000 b/d of crude available to sell for February, but no buyers because of US sanctions, according to a company official.

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"The climbing of US sanctions against the Nicolas Maduro government alienated the few clients that were still daring to enter Venezuelan ports," said a PDVSA official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

"For February, there is 661,000 b/d of crude that has no takers. Also, PVDSA is offering to pay debts with crude to creditors but there are no interested parties," the official added.

PDVSA has offered deep price discounts for its crude, and flexible loading windows of more than 30 days, the official said.

The volume available for sale represents 80% of the 850,000 b/d total crude production estimated by PDVSA for February, according to the monthly production plan obtained by S&P Global Platts.

Production rose to a one-year high of 820,000 b/d in January, according to the latest S&P Global Platts survey of OPEC output. Late last year, PDVSA signed a deal with some companies to help restore its oil output in fields located in the Orinoco Belt.

"But for lacking buyers, the Venezuelan state oil company could be forced to reduce its output in the next few months," the official said.

The US has been considering sanctions on Russian state oil company Rosneft as it continues to receive Venezuelan crude as debt repayment and sell it to China and India buyers, a senior Trump administration official said in early February.

According to the PDVSA official, 502,000 b/d of Merey crude is available for February, 40,000 b/d of Boscan, 23,000 b/d of Laguana and 17,000 b/d of Bachaquero. Another 95,000 b/d of Special Hamaca Blend (SHB) is also available. SHB is produced by the PDVSA/Chevron Petropiar joint venture.

"Those unsold barrels represent for PDVSA one month's revenue of approximately $800 million, given that prices fluctuate between $40 and $41 per barrel for Boscan, Laguna and Bachaquero and $45 per barrel for Merey 16 crudes and SHB," the official said.

"The available crude is being offered to the international market in direct negotiations, because there are no companies interested in participating in tenders. Additionally, the trade, supply and logistics committee, [which] gives the go-ahead to negotiations, has suspended indefinitely its activities because there are no cases to review," the official said .

There was no information available regarding the scheduled deliveries of crude to Rosneft as payment for loans. Previously signed contracts with Rosneft stipulated deliveries of 162,000 b/d of crude this year by PDVSA to meet debt obligations


PDVSA has scheduled several shipments of refined products needed to supply its domestic markets, a necessity created by the deterioration of its national refining system.

For February, PDVSA is scheduled to receive a shipment of 250,000 barrels of ultra low sulfur diesel (ULSD) from Italy-based ENI. This shipment was negotiated at Platts Mediterranean 10 ppm ULSD plus $50/mt, according to a PDVSA report.

Between February and March, India-based Reliance has agreed to supply PDVSA with 260,000 barrels of ULSD and 260,000 barrels of diesel. The ULSD was traded at ICE gasoil futures plus $124-132/mt, while the diesel was sold at ICE gasoil plus $111-118/mt.

The PDVSA report also listed as suppliers of refined products Miami-based J&D Oilfield International, a global aviation service company, Sahara Energy International, and Rosneft.

None of the companies could be reached for comment.

J&D Oilfield International has agreed to deliver 500,000 barrels of 92-RON gasoline, while Sahara Energy has agreed to deliver 240,000 barrels of 0.5% sulfur diesel from Singapore.

Rosneft has agreed to deliver 240,000 barrels of 0.5% sulfur diesel, the report showed.

PDVSA's 645,000 b/d Amuay plant is the only operating Venezuelan refinery, but at just 20.2% of its capacity.