Russian oil firm Rosneft is apparently responding to the reluctance of US banks to extend letters of credit (L/Cs) for refiners awaiting shipments of Venezuelan crude oil from Petroleos de Venezuela S A (PDVSA).

For several weeks recently, the oil tanker Karvounis loaded with about one million barrels of Venezuelan crude, was stranded off the coast of the US state of Louisiana because it lacked the L/C required to discharge its cargo (DC World News, 23 August 2017).

Russian marketing

Rosneft has struck deals with several buyers for almost its entire quota of Venezuelan crude for the remainder of the year according to traders.

This is the first time the Russian oil firm sold such a large volume of Venezuelan oil.

Rosneft is buying increasingly more Venezuelan crude and products while extending credits to the country's government.

Possible buyers

Buyers of Venezuelan crude via Rosneft are not known but industry sources suggest they do include US refiners.

Historically, the largest US buyers of Venezuelan heavy crude include Valero Energy, Citgo Petroleum, Phillips 66, Chevron Corp and PBF Energy Inc, the company that made several unsuccessful attempts to find a bank willing to provide the L/C required to discharge oil from the tanker Karvounis.

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