January 12, 2017 / 9:11 PM / 2 years ago

CORRECTED-Venezuelan crude sales to the U.S. fell to 25-year low in 2016

(Corrects date in the first graph, removes typo in the second
    By Marianna Parraga
    HOUSTON, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Sales of Venezuelan crude to the
United States in 2016 dropped to a 25-year-low due to falling
exports of blends and upgraded oil from the country's main
producing region, according to Thomson Reuters Trade Flows data.
    Venezuela's oil production fell to its lowest in more than
two decades in 2016 and is expected to decline again this year
due to lack of investment in exploration and production as well
as payment delays to state-run PDVSA's suppliers. 
    The production fall has affected exports to most PDVSA
customers, including those in North America. The volume of
shipments to the United States in 2016 was 718,365 barrels per
day, lowest since 1991.
    PDVSA's refining unit Citgo Petroleum was the largest
recipient of Venezuelan crude in the United States in 2016.
    Valero Energy, Phillips 66 and Chevron Corp
 followed, but Venezuela's overall export drop curbed
their purchases since U.S. imports of Venezuelan oil are
dominated by extra heavy grades produced in the vast Orinoco
belt, which is facing limitations due to lack of diluents used
to mix with those crudes.
    Exports of Venezuelan crude to the United States slumped in
October amid a shortage of imported crude and refined products
to dilute the country's extra heavy oil. A similar shortage,
combined with mechanical problems at ports, affected shipments
in the first half as well. 
    An accumulation of tankers around PDVSA ports waiting for
payments to discharge oil imports created bottlenecks for
refining, production and exports last year.
    PDVSA's Citgo Petroleum unit recently increased shipments of
refined products to Venezuela, while loading crude cargoes at a
terminal it now operates in the Caribbean island of Aruba,
helping to ease the holdup.
    The following is a table of Venezuelan crude sales to the
United States from PDVSA's ports and terminals, according to
Reuters data:
 Period      Exports     Number  
             (bpd)       of cargoes
 December    735,195     46
 November    742,535     42
 October     601,065     37
 September   786,835     46
 August      712,871     43
 July        817,806     50
 June        652,733     39
 May         762,000     47
 April       734,700     45
 March       793,581     52
 February    637,105     40
 January     643,935     43
 2016        718,365     530
 2015        772,880     582
 2014        733,000     N.A.
 2013        755,000     N.A.

 (Reporting by Marianna Parraga; Editing by Dan Grebler)
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