Reliance Industries has, in the wake of reports about petroleum product exports, clarified that it was not breaching US sanctions against Venezuela.
in a statement on Saturday, the company said its recent fuel exports to Venezuela were agreed before Washington imposed sanctions in January. The shipments made were meant to settle the company's crude oil imports from Venezuela.
The statement added that it had been in continuous communication with the US Department of State regarding its activities in Venezuela ever since sanctions were imposed.
It was reported that Reliance had been selling fuels to Venezuela from India and Europe to sidestep sanctions on US-based firms from dealing with state-run PDVSA. The report was based on export data.
"Reliance's few transportation fuel shipments to Venezuela, treated as offsets for crude oil receipts, were committed and in-transit when there were no specific restrictions to such transactions. They were all fuels refined in India," the statement said.
Reliance supplied alkylate, diluent naphtha and other fuel to Venezuela through its US-based subsidiary before Washington imposed the sanctions. The US action is aimed to oust socialist President Nicolas Maduro.
The statement said Reliance had been transparent with US authorities and provided detailed feedback to Washington.
"Reliance not only has complied with US sanctions laws, but also done its best to adjust its dealings with Venezuela on a voluntary basis to reflect the ongoing changes in US policy," it added.
It also claimed it had stopped shipments of diluent naphtha to Venezuela, and had reduced its purchases of Venezuelan crude oil to well below the contracted levels. Reliance signed a 15-year deal in 2012 to buy 300,000-400,000 bpd (barrels per day) of heavy crude from PDVSA.