Citgo says it is ready to resume oil imports from Venezuela if okayed by US

US refiner Citgo Petroleum has said that it was willing to resume imports of Venezuelan crude, which had been suspended since 2019 by the US executive’s sanctions on its parent company PDVSA, provided the US government authorized the flow.

Citgo’s CEO Carlos Jorda said on Friday July 8th at a conference on Venezuelan foreign energy assets that “to be competitive in this market, we have to buy the cheapest and most convenient crude”.

Since March, mainly as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent sanctions against Russian crude, US and Venezuelan officials have been engaged in political negotiations about the potential easing of oil trading sanctions.

OPEC and the French government, representing Europe, have called for Washington to resume acceptance of Venezuelan and Iranian crude oil exports.

The Biden administration in May authorized European companies Eni and Repsol to resume imports of Venezuelan crude. That has helped boost the nation’s oil exports to above 600,000 barrels per day (May 2022 figure).

Chevron has also requested an authorization from the US Treasury Department to import Venezuelan oil to the US and perhaps even getting operating control of its joint ventures.