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venezuela: India will renew oil purchases from Venezuela: Oil minister Hardeep Puri


India will renew crude oil purchases from Venezuela as the South American nation no longer faces sanctions from the US, oil minister Hardeep Puri said on Friday.

“We have always bought stuff from Venezuela. It was when Venezuela came under sanction that they were not able to supply. Many of our refineries, including the one in Paradip are capable of using that heavy Venezuelan oil and we will buy (from Venezuela),” Puri said.

The US recently lifted sanctions on Venezuela, paving the way for Indian refiners to relook at importing crude from the country. “We are willing to resume (purchase of oil) with anyone who’s not under sanction,” Puri said, adding that India’s oil needs have been growing and it would welcome the supply of Venezuelan oil to this market.

Venezuela has the largest reserve of crude oil globally but currently produces a tiny volume. Its production has averaged less than 800,000 barrels per day this year, a fraction of the 2.4 million barrels per day before the US sanctions began in 2017. Despite the sanctions, Venezuela exported a little less than 500,000 barrels per day to China. Following the lifting of sanctions, some of those export barrels are likely to be redistributed. Venezuela is expected to take years before it can significantly lift its oil production.

Meanwhile, India’s state-run explorer ONGC also has participating interests in some Venezuelan oilfields. Its dividend of about $500 million from those fields has been stuck for years due to the US sanctions.


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