US Slaps Rosneft With Sanctions for Venezuelan Oil-Trade Ties

Daniel Fowler
February 20, 2020

Rosneft and its subsidiaries have been accused of helping embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro evade existing US sanctions on its oil exports, a major source of income for the regime, which controls the world's largest reserves of crude oil.

Rosneft is now subject to some USA market-sector sanctions, although those measures aren't as far-reaching as the sanctions against businesses associated with the Maduro regime and don't prevent Rosneft from entering into transactions for Venezuelan oil. The U.S. placed an array of sanctions on Venezuela previous year, freezing all state assets, targeting senior officials and prohibiting transactions with state entities.

Oil futures pared a decline, with Brent crude down 27 cents on the day to $57.40 a barrel at 1:03 p.m.

It is reported Rosneft stock prices fell after the announcement of US sanctions.

"In its dealings with Rosneft and otherwise, Reliance will continue to act in compliance with United States sanctions and policy guidelines", the company said. Just last month, it moved over 2 million barrels to West Africa.

"'Today's sanctions are another step in the policy of pressuring the Maduro regime to allow Venezuela to escape from its awful crisis through free and fair presidential elections", he stated.

Inflation rises to 12.13% in January - NBS
Statistics Canada said Wednesday that excluding gasoline the year-over-year inflation rate would have been two per cent in January.

Rosneft accepts oil from Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA as payment for billions of dollars in loans extended to Venezuela over the past decade and then ships the barrels onto refineries that used to buy directly from Venezuela, including Nayara's facilities.

In the wake of USA sanctions on Venezuela, Russia has become the second-largest source of American oil imports.

Commenting on the decision, the Russian embassy in the USA stressed it was an instance of unfair competition, as American companies continue operating in Venezuela. Its current waiver from sanctions expires in April.

Apart from Reliance, India's Nayara Energy, part-owned by Rosneft, also imports Venezuelan oil.

Due to increasing supply risks on the global oil market, crude prices showed some gains. Recent company documents offering crude and refined oil products for sale don't mention the Switzerland-based trading arm.

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