Venezuelan crude sales to U.S. recovered in 2015 from record lows
* PDVSA sold an average of 772,880 bpd to U.S. in 2015 * Citgo and Valero Energy were main receivers of Venezuelan oil HOUSTON, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Venezuela's state-run PDVSA and its joint ventures sold an average of 772,880 barrels per day (bpd) of crude last year to their customers in the United States, an increase from record lows in 2013 and 2014, according to Reuters trade flows data. Venezuela exported 755,000 bpd of crude to the United States in 2013 and 733,000 bpd in 2014, according to the Energy Information Administration. Larger shipments of diluted crude oil (DCO) made with naphtha contributed to the recovery in 2015, Reuters data show. Amid falling oil prices, PDVSA last year increased purchases of heavy naphtha and light crudes to use them as diluents for its extra heavy crude, which helped the firm to boost exports to its unit in the United States, Citgo Petroleum Corp, as well as key customers including Valero Energy Corp, Chevron Corp, Phillips 66 and Motiva Enterprises . After selling its stake in Chalmette refinery in Louisiana to PBF Energy Inc in mid-2015, PDVSA has maintained sales to the new operator, which also contributed last year to the sales increase. After signing several oil deals with Chinese firms in recent years, PDVSA's first destination of exports is Asia, followed by North America, but the United States is the single largest buyer of Venezuelan crudes. The following is a table of monthly sales of Venezuelan crude to the United States coming from PDVSA's ports and terminals, according to Reuters data: Month Exports Number of Main receivers (in bpd) cargoes December 751,806 49 Valero Energy Citgo Petroleum November 829,500 51 Citgo Petroleum Valero Energy October 788,742 50 Citgo Petroleum Valero Energy September 724,230 44 Valero Energy Citgo Petroleum August 808,000 49 Citgo Petroleum Valero Energy July 728,450 46 Valero Energy Citgo Petroleum June 681,570 45 Valero Energy Citgo Petroleum May 777,225 54 Valero Energy Citgo Petroleum April 801,387 54 Valero Energy Chevron Corp March 851,613 56 Valero Energy Phillips 66 February 796,000 42 Citgo Petroleum Valero Energy January 736,000 42 Citgo Petroleum Valero Energy (Reporting by Marianna Parraga; Editing by Terry Wade and Lisa Shumaker)
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