Oil Shipments STOPPED – Alternative To Russia Cut OFF
(RightWing.org) – In the wake of the war on Ukraine, European leaders decided to reduce their consumption of Russian oil. That was easier said than done because the former Soviet country was the largest supplier of oil and natural gas to the region. To make up for the shortfall, the nations looked for alternative suppliers and made a deal with Venezuela.
The arrangement with the South American dictatorship has now collapsed, creating a new problem for the European Union (EU).
In May, President Joe Biden started easing sanctions on Venezuela’s state-owned oil companies. The move allowed energy giant PDVSA to resume sending products to Europe after a two-year suspension.
The US imposed some restrictions, such as only authorizing a deal between PDVSA and the EU if the proceeds were being used to pay off debt the company owed. Venezuela has now backed out of the deal.
Instead of the oil-for-debt arrangement, reports indicate the nation wants to swap fuel products with Spain’s Respol and Italy’s Eni energy companies. Currently, PDVSA’s refineries aren’t able to refine as much diesel and gasoline as the socialist regime needs because of its failure to make repairs and invest in its own infrastructure. In addition to its need for fuel, a portion of the cargo’s value would be used to pay down its debts.
Venezuela has suspended crude shipments to Europe for the time being. That isn’t good news for the region.
Europe Braces for Winter
The suspension of oil from Venezuela means the EU is running out of alternative options. According to Zero Hedge, the region is going to have to search the market to make sure it can get enough supplies to meet its minimum requirements for heating throughout the winter.
In July, Russia’s Gazprom reduced the supply of natural gas flowing through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to just 20% capacity. The company cited maintenance on one of its turbines as a reason for the decision. In August, the pipeline was shut down completely for unscheduled maintenance. On August 31, the flow will be stopped for three days for what officials are calling planned maintenance.
Germany has criticized Russia for the pipeline shenanigans, which make Europe’s need for alternative fuel supplies even more imperative. Spain and Italy have reportedly turned to Algeria for more gas, and the Germans have fired up defunct coal plants again to meet energy demands.
The latest news could create issues for the United States, as well. As Europe snatches up oil supplies for winter, it will result in fewer supplies for other countries like America. That could drive up gas prices after they’ve been dropping for weeks, which would be unwelcome news for people who are still dealing with the impact of inflation.
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