Bowing to US pressure, Reliance Industries Ltd. has capped oil purchases from Venezuela. Reliance, which import around 270,000 barrels a day, is said to be Venezuela’s top customer in India.
U.S. pressure is to topple the current government under the leadership of President Nicolas Maduro. “Our U.S. subsidiary has completely stopped all business with Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, PDVSA, and its global parent has not increased crude purchases," a Reliance spokesman said in an emailed statement as quoted by Reuters.
“Since the U.S. government imposed sanctions on the Government of Venezuela in late January 2019, Reliance Industries Limited has been in close contact with representatives from the U.S. State Department to ensure full compliance," according to the statement. "We will continue a constructive dialogue with the U.S. government to ensure Reliance remains in compliance.”
The decision will affect the business interest of Reliance as the companies’ advanced refining systems has the ability to convert the thick Venezuelan grade into high-value fuels such as gasoline, low-sulfur diesel and jet fuel.
The Indian government has warned companies to halt purchases of Venezuelan oil or face undisclosed consequences, M.M. Kutty, India’s top most official in the oil ministry, said in Houston on March 12.