Bogota, October 12 2017 (venezuelanalysis.com) - US petroleum refinery PBF has cut direct imports from Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA, Reuters has claimed.
The unofficial information was given to the news agency by an unnamed PDVSA source, who said that the state oil company was informed of the decision last month.
The move comes in the wake of US economic sanctions, approved by the Trump administration in August and which came into effect at the end of September. Under the sanctions, US companies are barred from entering into new financial agreements with PDVSA.
Critics of the measures say they are aimed at squeezing the Venezuelan economy further in the midst of a severe economic crisis, and that they could harm the country’s population. The vast majority of Venezuela’s foreign currency earnings come from oil sales.
According to Reuters, PBF is the fifth largest US buyer of Venezuelan crude oil, previously purchasing at least two 500,000-barrel cargoes monthly from PDVSA and another 52,000 daily from other Venezuelan suppliers.
The US company is allegedly making up for the shortfall by increasing purchases of Colombian oil.