Caracas will do everything possible to minimize effects of US sanctions against Venezuelan energy giant PDVSA on the global oil market, the technical adviser for the state-run firm, Ronny Romero, said.
“Yes, we are facing new illegal sanctions from the US. We were exporting about 500,000 bpd to the US. PDVSA will redirect exports to other customers in Europe and Asia,” he told Sputnik.
Romero, who is Venezuela’s National Representative to OPEC, explained that European and Asian customers should not be afraid to buy oil from the country because Washington’s sanctions apply only to US entities.
“Anyway, Russia and China don’t care about US sanctions,” he said, adding that Venezuela would “do our best in order to not affect the market.”
Washington imposed sanctions against PDVSA last week, seizing $7 billion in assets. US National Security Advisor John Bolton said that in addition to that, the sanctions will affect $11 billion worth of the company’s exports over the coming year.
The US buys a significant amount of Venezuelan oil, according to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who said the sanctions would have a “modest effect” on American refineries.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro criticized US sanctions on PDVSA, saying the restrictions were tantamount to illegal seizure.
Venezuela is home to the world’s largest oil reserves. Oil sales account for 98 percent of export earnings and as much as 50 percent of GDP. Washington is betting that the sanctions-hit PDVSA will be unable to export enough oil, causing President Maduro’s government to quickly run out of cash.
At the same time, the US is trying to force international recognition of the chairman of the National Assembly Juan Guaido as the country’s new president.