Oil experts say Venezuela will suffer from a lack of fuel after the commercial sanctions announced by the United States, which will prevent the Caribbean country from proceeding with import of crude oil in the midst of a humanitarian crisis that has worsened in recent months can leave the domestic market without fuel for 12 days.
In the first 10 months of 2018, Venezuela bought an average of 122,500 barrels a day for gasoline for $ 1,757 million to supply free fuel of Venezuelan drivers, according to data from the US Energy Agency. (EIA, for its acronym in English).
This purchase of diesel, partly refined oil and derivatives ends one-third of Venezuela's domestic offer. Also, PDVSA imported an average of 49,000 barrels per day from the United States in the same period, a payment of at least 988 million US dollars, according to the Venezuelan portal Stimulus.
Two days after Washington imposed sanctions on Venezuelan state oil company, the White House predicted that the United States "is ready to act against those who are doing business related to Venezuelan gold or oil"
"My advice to the bankers, brokers, operators, brokers and other companies: do not trade gold, oil or other Venezuelan raw materials that the mafia of (Venezuelan President Nicolás) Maduro robbing the Venezuelan people; we are ready to continue to take action, "Secretary of State Security John Bolton wrote to his Twitter account.
This would mean more complications for Venezuela and its state-owned oil company, given that they could not continue importing crude oil or fuel to supply on the domestic market, which has an average demand of 340,000 barrels per day.
"In the short term they will leak from gasoline and heavy fuel oil. And then we will have a lack of problems due to the lack of dollars for import. They will have to feed, "the economist and oil expert explained Francisco Monalli in a dialogue with the specialized site.
In Venezuela, gasoline and diesel are technically free. Last August, Maduro said he would charge them for international prices, but he never dared to apply the measure amid a fierce economic adjustment program, which further aroused hyperinflation and poverty and deepened America's worst recession for 100 years.
"The fuel supply crisis in Venezuela is inevitable as soon as the Pdvsa can not be replaced. Our refineries have several plants that are closed and we produce barely 32% of all installed capacities at six refineries, which is 1.3 million, "the expert for oil expert warned Raphael Kiros, in a dialogue with El Estimullo. And he assured that if PDVSA does not quickly cover the absence of US imports of gasoline components and already ready fuel, "chaotic situation" will appear in "10 or 12 days".
The United States did not specify which reprisals will be and whether sanctions will be imposed as secondary to those companies that negotiate with companies controlled by the Maduro government, as Washington did in the case of foreign companies that purchased Iran oil.
Bolton's warning came after VATSA's President, General Manuel Quavedo, announced that the state-owned oil company would change its operations. It is now evaluating the changing contractual procedures due to "force majeure" over sanctions imposed by the United States.
In addition to oil, The United States believes that gold trading is one of Nicholas Maduro's main supporters to remain in power, and the Ministry of Finance last year pointed out in particular to Turkey for the purchase of several metric tons of that metal.
Sanctions against PDVSA can seriously conclude the cash flow of Venezuela, whose income depends on almost 96% of oil, experts say quoted by the news agency EFE.
In this way, it will have a greater impact on the supply of basic products, already largely limited in the country for more than ten years.