Venezuela Cuts Oil Sales to U.S., China to Comply With OPEC

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601207&sid=aEJKMzRpKSCM&refer=energy

By Matthew Walter and Steven Bodzin

Jan. 8 (Bloomberg) — Venezuela reduced oil exports to the U.S., China and Europe as part of an OPEC output cut designed to bolster prices.

Crude sales to the U.S. were lowered by 166,000 barrels a day, sales to China reduced by 18,000 barrels a day, and to Europe by 5,000 barrels a day, the country’s Energy and Oil Ministry said in a statement. The largest cut, of 90,000 barrels, is to Louisiana’s Chalmette refinery that is owned by Petroleos de Venezuela SA and Exxon Mobil Corp.

“With these decisions, Venezuela reaffirms its commitment and strict adherence to the decisions taken by OPEC in defense of stability in the global oil market,” the ministry said.

All of the latest cuts come from joint ventures between Petroleos de Venezuela and foreign oil companies. The partners in the ventures are BP Plc, Chevron Corp., China National Petroleum Corp., Total SA, StatoilHydro ASA, Petroleo Brasileiro SA, and Repsol YPF SA, the ministry said.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Harvest Natural Resources Inc. are in joint ventures that were on an earlier list of those that would have to cut output and didn’t end up on the final list.

Venezuela, the biggest oil exporter in the Americas, is making the reductions as part of an agreement to cut 189,000 barrels under a deal reached Dec. 17 in Algeria to arrest a slide in prices. Oil futures have climbed 7 percent since the decision to cut output after falling by more than $100 a barrel in the prior five months.

The South American country has agreed to reduce its oil output by a total of 364,000 barrels a day. That number reflects three separate Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries production cuts since September, the Energy and Oil Ministry said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Matthew Walter in Caracas at mwalter4@bloomberg.net.
Last Updated: January 7, 2009 21:40 EST

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