Can Venezuela help the West wean itself off Russian oil?

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Nicolás Maduro, the country’s autocratic president, may make that difficult.

By The Economist

Apr 23, 2022

On april 22nd a ban on Russian oil imports will come into effect in the United States. One of the countries that could benefit is Venezuela. According to Credit Suisse, a bank, its economy is expected to grow in real terms by 20% this year, albeit from a very low base. This will be driven wholly by the oil industry. The bank expects petroleum output to increase by more than a fifth.

Even before Russia’s war in Ukraine, Venezuela had been producing more oil. Over the past year, it doubled its output to around 800,000 barrels a day. Although that is a fraction of the 3m it produced in the 1990s, it is enough to replace the 199,000 barrels a day the United States imported from Russia in 2021. Several American refineries were built to process viscous Venezuelan crude specifically. They struggle with runnier Saudi stuff or domestically produced shale oil.

On april 22nd a ban on Russian oil imports will come into effect in the United States. One of the countries that could benefit is Venezuela. According to Credit Suisse, a bank, its economy is expected to grow in real terms by 20% this year, albeit from a very low base. This will be driven wholly by the oil industry. The bank expects petroleum output to increase by more than a fifth.

Even before Russia’s war in Ukraine, Venezuela had been producing more oil. Over the past year, it doubled its output to around 800,000 barrels a day. Although that is a fraction of the 3m it produced in the 1990s, it is enough to replace the 199,000 barrels a day the United States imported from Russia in 2021. Several American refineries were built to process viscous Venezuelan crude specifically. They struggle with runnier Saudi stuff or domestically produced shale oil.

Read More: The Economist – Can Venezuela help the West wean itself off Russian oil?

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