FLOTILLA OF VENEZUELAN OIL TANKERS STRANDED IN GULF OF MEXICO | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


FLOTILLA OF VENEZUELAN OIL TANKERS STRANDED IN GULF OF MEXICO

And in the latest sign that military conflict remains a possibility (after all, both President Trump and National Security Advisor John Bolton have insisted that the door to a military intervention is still open), when asked about whether a civil war is inevitable, Maduro replied that "no one could answer that question with certainty." While Guaido, who is struggling to convince the Venezuelan military to abandon Maduro and back his upstart parallel government, definitively ruled out a war as an option.

Meanwhile, RIA reported Tuesday morning that Maduro is hoping to arrest the slide in Venezuelan oil production by boosting output to 2.5 million barrels per day (from less than 1 million b/d currently).

But much to the chagrin of Russian state-controlled oil giant Rosneft, US sanctions against Venezuelan oil firm PDVSA have left a flotilla of ships carrying some 7 million barrels of Venezuelan crude stranded in the Gulf of Mexico. Some of the oil was ordered before the US sanctions came into play, as buyers took advantage of PDVSA's open-market firesales ahead of the sanctions. Other buyers are stashing oil aboard the 12 tankers until they figure out where to put their money, according to Reuters.

According to the US sanctions, payments for Venezuelan oil are supposed to go into escrow accounts that will ultimately be handed over to Guaido. But the accounts haven't been set up yet.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This... is an industrial-strength problem for Maduro, and how he handles it may secure his rule in Venezuela... or destroy it.

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