Russian state oil major Rosneft has become the main trader of Venezuelan crude, shipping oil to buyers in China and India and helping Caracas offset the loss of traditional dealers who are avoiding it for fear of breaching US sanctions.
Trading sources and Refinitiv Eikon data showed Rosneft became the biggest buyer of Venezuelan crude in July and the first half of August.
It took 40 per cent of state oil company PDVSA’s exports in July and 66 per cent so far in August, according to the firm’s export programs and the Refinitiv Eikon data, double the purchases before sanctions.
Three industry sources said Rosneft, which produces around five per cent of the world’s oil, is now taking care of shipping and marketing operations for the bulk of Venezuelan oil exports, ensuring that PDVSA can continue to supply buyers.
Rosneft used to resell volumes it bought from PDVSA to trading firms and was less involved in marketing.
Now it has started supplying some PDVSA clients - Chinese and Indian refineries - while trading houses such as Swiss-based Trafigura and Vitol have walked away.