Crude oil rises on concerns about plunge in exports from Venezuela

|By:, SA News Editor

Crude oil prices push higher following reports that Venezuela is nearly a month behind delivering crude to customers from its main oil export terminals; WTI crude +1.4% at $65.63/bbl, Brent also +1.4% at $76.42/bbl.

Venezuela's state-run PDVSA warned in recent days that deliveries to major refiners could be interrupted if it fails to end a tanker bottleneck contributing to a sharp decline in oil exports.

According to Reuters, tankers waiting to load 24M-plus barrels of crude - nearly as much as PDVSA shipped in April - are sitting off Venezuela’s main oil port in a backlog so severe that the company has told some customers it may declare force majeure.

Customers waiting for cargoes with tankers already at sea reportedly include Chevron (CVX +2.1%), Valero Energy (VLO +0.5%) and China’s CNPC and its PetroChina (PTR +0.8%) trading unit.

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