Caricatures

Venezuela exporting its oil despite US sanctions
Venezuela exporting its oil despite US sanctions

On January 28, 2019, Washington imposed sanctions on Venezuela’s oil sector. So, the Latin American country lost the lion’s share of its regular buyers shortly after. However, the US has failed to cripple Venezuela’s oil production. Local port authorities recorded 214 tankers of new customers which arrived in Venezuela’s ports in 2019. The White House has shifted focus away from monitoring implementation of the sanctions amid political and economic troubles in the country. In the meantime, 41 new customers are willing to buy cheap Venezuela’s crude contravening US sanctions. Before the restrictions had been slapped, the US used to be the key importer of Venezuela’s oil. At present, the Latin American country is selling the most of its oil to China, India, and Cuba. These buyers account for 37% of oil shipments from Venezuela in 2019. Besides, the crisis-stricken country has added Portugal, the South African Republic, and Bahrain to its export market.

Interestingly, the statistics do not paint the real picture. To deliver oil to customers, captains use inventive methods to disguise the cargo’s origin. Captains at some vessels turn off transponders to disrupt the ship tracking system. Another trick is ship-to-ship transfers of oil from larger supertankers to smaller vessels while they approach each other close in the open sea and move oil along connection hoses.             

 

Published: 5 Aug 2020, 09:53 UTC+00
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