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As US bans oil import from Venezuela, India emerges as No.1 buyer: report

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Caracas, Feb 18: Someone's loss is always someone else's gain. As the US continues with its de facto ban on import of crudes from Venezuela, the Latin American nation which is in the middle of a political crisis after Opposition leader Juan Guaido challenged President Nicolas Maduro to proclaim himself as the interim president, India has gained.

As US bans oil import from Venezuela, India emerges as No.1 buyer

It may be mentioned here that India came under immense pressure to maintain its oil trade with Iran after the latter came under America's wrath.

According to a report in Bloomberg, India has emerged to be the No.1 buyer of Venezuelan crude in February after exports to the US came to nought.

The quantity of exports to India has jumped 66 per cent to 620,000 barrels a day and the boost is being driven by refiners like Reliance Industries Ltd and Nayara Energy Ltd, backed by Rosneft, Russia.

Overall though, Venezuela's crude exports have taken a dip as the US has intensified the sanctions against the Latin American nation's oil company.

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Oil shipments crumbled to 1.12 million barrels a day in the first half of February, which was 9.2 per cent less than that in the same period in the previous month.

No ship has left the Venezuelan shore for the US in this time and as many as seven oil-laden vessels meant to head for American refiners have left stranded since the sanctions were imposed on January 28, five days after the political crisis unfolded.

Venezuela's state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela SA sought immediate pay for the cargoes, said the Bloomberg report.

Oil shipments to China, one of Venezuela's old allies, also slowed down. China has given Venezuela a big loan worth at least $50 billion over the past 12 years and a change of guard in Caracas could see Beijing struggling to recover the money.

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