PDVSA said there was a 1.4 per cent drop in its output, as well as “weaker exports, including destinations such as Central America and the Caribbean, with a preferential treatment and appearing in the energy cooperation agreements championed by the Bolivarian government”.
In 2010, Venezuelan exports of crude oil and by-products reached 2.41 million barrels per day (bpd), a reduction of 267,000 bpd or 10 per cent as against 2.68 million barrels sold overseas in 2009, according to El Universal, the Spanish language newspaper.
PDVSA said “sagging exports” resulted from “fewer hydrocarbons available for sale, due to operating and seasonal conditions and raising consumption in the domestic market”.
It said volumes to Caribbean countries declined by four per cent, from 224,000 bpd in 2009 to 215,000 bpd in 2010.
Regarding sales to Caribbean, PDVSA reported a “noteworthy” 102 per cent increase in the placement of by-products, which moved from 36,000 bpd to 73,000 bpd, but also a 24 per cent drop in the sale of crude, from 188,000 bpd in 2009 to 142,000 bpd in 2010.
Under the PetroCaribe deal signed back in 2005, several Caribbean countries pay an upfront 60 per cent on oil purchased from Caracas, but are allowed to treat the rest as long-term loans repayable at one per cent interest over 25 years.
The deal allowed for the Caribbean nations to purchase up to 185,000 barrels of oil per day between them. In addition, it allows for them to pay part of the cost with agriculture commodities such as bananas, rice, and sugar.