Crude oil was trading higher 0.91 per cent to Rs 3,753 per barrel in futures market Tuesday as speculators created fresh bets, taking positive cues from overseas markets. Analysts said speculators built fresh positions after oil prices rose overseas amid OPEC-led supply cuts and US sanctions against Iran and Venezuela, although surging US production and concerns over economic growth kept markets in check.
Squeezed by US sanctions that began on January 28, Venezuela has turned to India to sell its crude, Reuters has reported. The US sanctions are designed to cut off President Nicolas Maduro’s access to oil revenues that have helped him stay in power.
Since sanctions were announced, Venezuela’s state-run oil company PDVSA has loaded and exported 1.15 million bpd of crude and refined products, according to Refinitiv Eikon data quoted by Reuters. Two supertankers, Baghdad and Folegandros I, started late Monday for Indian ports.
India has been Venezuela’s second-largest customer after the United States. Before the sanctions, PDVSA shipped over 500,000 bpd to the US, followed by India at more than 300,000 bpd. Venezuela’s Oil Minister, Manuel Quevedo, has been in India this week.
On Monday, Quevedo said Venezuela was selling more than 300,000 bpd to Indian buyers, and would like to “double that amount”. Reliance is among PDVSA’s main cash-paying customers, while Nayara receives Venezuelan oil from one of its largest stakeholders, Russian oil giant Rosneft.
This is how India’s crude oil import basket for April to Nov 2018 looked. (Source: DGCIS)
With inputs from Reuters, PTI