Venezuela Imports American Oil

Venezuela is one of the oil-richest countries in the world. Yet it is now compelled to import American oil.

That’s not because of unrestrained Venezuelan capitalism.

The United States has always been a huge market for Venezuela’s oil. But with Venezuela’s state oil company hobbling along, it was actually forced to start importing oil from the United States.

Early this year, the United States began shipping more than 50,000 barrels a day of the light crude that Venezuela needs to prepare its own oil for export, joining a handful of suppliers that have become vital to keeping the country’s oil industry afloat.

Even that lifeline is tenuous. Venezuela’s state oil company, PDVSA, is struggling to pay for the foreign oil. Some tankers wait in port for as long as two weeks to be paid, and sometimes they leave because of a lack of payment, said an oil executive who requested anonymity to avoid reprisals from the government.

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