Sanctions imposed by the US on Venezuela are starting to impact shipments, according to Gibson Shipbrokers.
The sanctions had been benefiting the tanker market in terms of long haul crude exports previously destined for US refineries. However, production and the quality of the crude is continuing to decline.
Between January and April this year, some 9.5mt of crude and fuel oil was shipped on VLCC and Suezmax tonnage to Asia, down from 12.2mt during the same period in 2017. Increased volumes from the US and Brazil had more than compensated for these losses.
“Venezuela urgently needs huge outside investment into their oil and gas industry which in all probability needs to be in the form of foreign technology and investment. The current political impasse with the US would make this difficult,” Gibson said.