Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
  Energy News  

Subscribe free to our newsletters via your

Analysis: Venezuela ups exports to China

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only
by Carmen Gentile
Miami (UPI) Oct 24, 2007
Venezuelan oil exports to China are on the rise at the same time sales to the United States are on the decline, the U.S. Department of Energy reported.

Venezuela's state-run energy company PDVSA announced South America's largest oil exporter shipped an average of 197,000 barrels per day of crude oil and byproducts to China so far in 2007, El Universal newspaper reported Tuesday.

While that amount pales in comparison to the nearly 1.4 million bpd of Venezuelan oil that was exported to the United States in July, China's exports have risen nearly three-fold since last year.

Erik Kreil, an international oil market analyst at the U.S. Energy Information Administration, noted that Venezuela's exports to China were 27,500 bpd day in the first half of 2005, the first full year Beijing began pursuing Venezuelan petroleum.

By the first half of 2006, Venezuelan oil exports reached 70,000 bpd.

Kreil and others attribute the increase to China's own growing demand for fuel, as well as Venezuela's desire to diversify its customer portfolio and reduce its dependency on the United States.

"But China can only take so much," Kreil told United Press International Tuesday. "The bottom line is there is only so much they can diversify away" from the United States.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has made clear his intention to do just that, sparking some concerns the reduced output to the United States was in fact a policy decision.

In February, Venezuela's Foreign Ministry adopted a "take 'em or leave 'em" attitude toward the United States, suggesting its petroleum industry could survive without the billions of dollars in annual revenue from its largest customer.

"We are going to keep selling oil to North America because we are a serious country and we sell it to North American society," said Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro earlier this week in response to remarks by U.S. officials. "(But) if they say they do not need it, well, let them stop buying it."

Venezuela supplies about 12 percent of the oil imported by the United States, making it Venezuela's largest customer. It is the No. 4 U.S. supplier.

Maduro was reacting to remarks by Nicholas Burns, U.S. undersecretary of state for political affairs, who said the United States was stepping up its efforts to use biofuels to reduce its dependence on Venezuelan oil. Indeed, U.S. officials from President Bush down have pledged to reduce the use of foreign oil and instead look to biofuels such as ethanol.

But analysts like David Pumphrey, deputy director and senior fellow for the energy program at the Center for Strategic & International Studies in Washington, said the reduction of U.S. exports was more likely the result of production shortcomings and not political rhetoric.

"I don't think we have direct evidence that relations (between Venezuela and the United States) have anything to do with it," Pumphrey told UPI Tuesday.

In July, Luis Vierma, exploration and production vice president at PDVSA, said Venezuelan oil faces a "significant operational emergency" if it does not increase the number of rigs operating in the country and that the state firm fell short of its 2007 goal of getting 191 rigs online in 2007 and producing some 3.3 million bpd.

So far, he said, 112 rigs were online as of July, and by the end of the year their numbers would only likely increase to 120. "Venezuela is moving toward technological independence, but it will take a long time," said Vierma.

PDVSA's independence could take even longer considering Venezuela's oil output is believed to have slipped by more than 250,000 barrels per day from a year ago, according to the Paris-based International Energy Agency. Production has reportedly decreased from 2.6 million bpd to 2.37 million bpd.

Some opposition lawmakers have accused Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez and others in PDVSA of corruption.

Hoping to counter the production shortfall, PDVSA announced recently it was investing $3.5 billion in new oil rigs, a much-needed injection of cash for improvements to a sector that some experts say has been abused by Chavez for his social programs.


Email This Article
Comment On This Article

Related Links
Powering The World in the 21st Century at

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Outside View: Arctic oil competition rages
Moscow (UPI) Oct 23, 2007
The Arctic is rapidly becoming a scene of "competition and conflict for access to natural resources." (United Press International's "Outside View" commentaries are written by outside contributors who specialize in a variety of important issues. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of United Press International. In the interests of creating an open forum, original submissions are invited.)

  • Analysis: Venezuela ups exports to China
  • France aims for 'green revolution'
  • Analysis: Storing energy for a rainy day
  • Outside View: Arctic oil competition rages

  • Sarkozy announces nuclear cooperation with Morocco
  • Nuclear power to remain important energy source: IAEA
  • Troubled government buys more time on US nuclear pact
  • Toshiba to build nuclear engineering hub

  • Giant Atmospheric Waves Over Iowa
  • Global warming driving up humidity levels, says study
  • Ocean Oxidation Preceded First Great Rise In Atmospheric Oxygen
  • Argon Provides Atmospheric Clues

  • Biodiversity said to be key to healthy forests: study
  • Chinese loggers stripping Myanmar's ancient forests
  • Greenpeace aims to expose Indonesian forest destruction
  • France to help rehabilitate burnt Greek farms, forests

  • Global warming may be leading to higher rice yields in China: IRRI
  • Fake fins eye saving sharks, Chinese wallets
  • Fossilized Cashew Nuts Reveal Europe Was Important Route Between Africa And South America
  • China to import more Japanese rice soon: official

  • Honda plans low-cost hybrid in 2009
  • Green, mean or just wacky: automakers tout cars of future
  • Toyota offers lightweight solution to cut emissions
  • Nissan hopes to launch 2,500 dollar car in India in 2010

  • Airbus superjumbo takes off on first commercial flight
  • Solar Telescope Reaches 120,000 Feet On Jumbo-Jet-Sized Balloon
  • Third Maritime Surveillance System For Canada
  • Airbus US boss demands end to WTO "histrionics"

  • Nuclear Power In Space - Part 2
  • Outside View: Nuclear future in space
  • Nuclear Power In Space
  • Could NASA Get To Pluto Faster? Space Expert Says Yes - By Thinking Nuclear

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2007 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement