Venezuela's January oil exports fell 25% amid outages at terminal


By Marianna Parraga

HOUSTON, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Venezuela's exports of crude and refined products fell by 25% in January to some 624,000 barrels per day (bpd) as power outages hit the main oil export terminal, according to vessel tracking data and internal documents from state oil firm PDVSA.

The U.S. this week said it would reimpose energy sanctions in April if President Nicolas Maduro's administration does not stick to a deal to accept conditions for a fair presidential election. Analysts said this would hurt the country's ability to collect cash from its crude exports.

But loading delays linked to power outages and crude quality issues impacted exports again last month, the documents showed.

January export volumes were 25% below oil shipped in December, but marked a 3% increase versus the same month a year ago, according to the data.

Venezuelan crude exports by U.S. oil producer Chevron CVX.N declined to 107,000 bpd, from 233,000 bpd in December. The company, along with Italy's Eni ENI.MI, Spain's Repsol REP.MC and France's Maurel & Prom MAUP.PA, weeks ago began shipping Venezuelan oil to countries including India and China under U.S. authorizations.

Venezuela also exported some 286,000 metric tons of oil byproducts and petrochemicals in January, below the 400,000 tons shipped in December.

Maduro's key political ally Cuba, which struggles to meet domestic fuel demand, received 32,000 bpd of Venezuelan crude, gasoline and fuel oil last month, slightly above December but below the average of last year, the data showed.

If the U.S. reimposes sanctions on the country's oil and gas sector, PDVSA would be forced to give price discounts and sell cargoes through intermediaries again, analysts say.

GRAPHIC on Venezuela's monthly oil exports https://graphics.reuters.com/VENEZUELA-OIL/EXPORTS/nmovaxqarpa/

Venezuela's oil exports fell in January amid power outages https://tmsnrt.rs/3UpYrhU

(Reporting by Marianna Parraga in Houston; additional reporting by Mircely Guanipa in Punto Fijo, Venezuela; editing by David Ljunggren and Nick Zieminski)

((marianna.parraga@thomsonreuters.com; +1 713 371 7559; Reuters Messaging: @mariannaparraga))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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