United States national security adviser John Bolton has on February 12 warned several countries which include India, against importing or purchasing Venezuelan oil and said country and company which support Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s “theft” will “not be forgotten”.
According to TOI news reports, Bolton’s warning came a day after Manuel Quevedo, president of the Latin American state-run oil company PDVSA and Venezuelan oil minister, said he wishes to sell more of its country’s crude oil to India. The US has slapped Venezuela with sanctions over PDVSA and has pressurized Maduro to step down from his post.
With Washington barring Venezuela from exporting, PDVSA was seeking to retain its buyers in other consuming country like India and China. Quevedo, who holds the rotating presidency of the OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting), has visited India in order to convince its refiners to double their oil imports.
On the sidelines of the Petrotech summit on Monday, in Greater Noida, Quevedo told reporters: “India certainly has a good and healthy relationship with us and all the members of the OPEC and that will continue. So, we always keep these communications and relations with all-consuming countries in order to ensure stability and balance will continue.”
While citing its country’s oil revenue-dependent economy loss of $20 billion due to of the US, Quevedo said, “We are selling more than 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) to Indian buyers. We want to double that amount.”
Venezuela is considered a third-largest crude oil supplier to India. While reacting to Quevedo’s visit to India, Bolton said, “Nations and firms that support Maduro’s theft of Venezuelan resources will not be forgotten.”
In a tweet, Bolton wrote: “The United States will continue to use all of its powers to preserve the Venezuelan people’s assets and we encourage all nations to work together to work together.”
Since the US sanctions took effect on January 28, Venezuelan oil export has fallen to about 1.15 million bpd of refined products and crude from 1.4 million bpd, Refinitiv Eikon data reports stated.