India’s Reliance caps oil purchases, stops diluents supply to Venezuela

India’s Reliance caps oil purchases, stops diluents supply to Venezuela

India’s biggest private oil refiner Reliance Industries has capped crude imports from sanction-hit Venezuela, the company said yesterday. The energy-to-telecoms conglomerate has also stopped exporting diluents to the crisis-hit South American country, it said. The announcements come after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asked India to halt all crude imports from Nicolas Maduro’s regime, which the United States does not recognise.

“Our US subsidiary has completely stopped all business with Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, PdVSA, and its global parent has not increased crude purchases,” Reliance said in an emailed statement. “Reliance has halted all supply of diluent to PdVSA and will not resume such sales until sanctions are lifted,” added the company, which is owned by India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani. Venezuela -- a once-rich oil-producing nation -- is in the grip of an economic and political crisis and analysts said ending diluent exports would hamper Venezuela’s output.

“Venezuelan oil is thick and needs these raw materials for processing crude,” PetroWatch editor Madhu Nainan said. Venezuela is reeling from an unprecedented, week-long nationwide blackout and inflation is projected to reach 10 million percent this year, according to the IMF. The country’s infrastructure has degraded over years because of a lack of investment, a significant brain drain, and the government’s practice of putting the military in charge of key civilian facilities and companies.

The situation has worsened with successive rounds of US sanctions against Maduro’s government, including steps that have severely curbed its oil exports. The US and European Union recognises opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s interim president. On Tuesday, Pompeo asked India to stop buying crude from Venezuela, so as not to provide an “economic lifeline” to Maduro’s regime.

The following day, New Delhi warned oil companies that they faced “undisclosed consequences” if they continued to buy Venezuelan oil. “We will continue a constructive dialogue with the US government to ensure Reliance remains in compliance,” the conglomerate, which operates the world’s biggest refining complex, added in its statement.




Disease fears mount for cyclone survivors

Disease fears mount for cyclone survivors

Disease is threatening to aggravate the already dire conditions facing millions of survivors following the powerful tropical cyclone which ravaged southern Africa 10 days ago, officials warned on Sunday. Cyclone Idai smashed into Mozam

Caliphate ‘a living hell’

Caliphate ‘a living hell’

For the millions forced to endure the Islamic State group’s brutal rule, life in the “caliphate” was a living hell where girls were enslaved, music was banned and homosexuality was punishable by death. The jihadists a

Hundreds airlifted

Hundreds airlifted

A cruise liner that ran into trouble in rough seas off Norway was being towed to port yesterday after hundreds of passengers were helicoptered to safety. The Viking Sky lost power and started drifting mid-afternoon Saturday in perilous

Thai junta takes shock lead

Thai junta takes shock lead

Thailand’s ruling junta took an unexpected lead in the country’s first election since a 2014 coup with more than 90 percent of ballots counted, putting it on course to return to power at the expense of the kingdom’s p

Djokovic, Osaka win openers

Djokovic, Osaka win openers

Novak Djokovic put his Indian Wells disappointment behind him on Friday at the ATP and WTA Miami Open with a ruthless 7-6 (7/2) 6-2 destruction of Australian Bernard Tomic to move into the third round. The Serbian world number one endured a meek exit at the hands of German Philipp Kohlschreiber i

Sterling downs Czechs

Sterling downs Czechs

Raheem Sterling showed that he is coming of age on the international stage as his hat-trick saw England start their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign by hammering the Czech Republic 5-0, while Antoine Griezmann inspired France to a battering of Moldova. Manchester City attacker Sterling had scored ju


Jakarta opens mass rapid transit system

Jakarta opens mass rapid transit system

Indonesia’s capital inaugurated its first mass rapid transit system on Sunday, a $1.1 billion project seen as crucial to tackling some of the world’s worst traffic congestion. President Joko Widodo and other officials joine

MAX anti-stall software fix ready

MAX anti-stall software fix ready

A fix to the anti-stall system suspected in the crash of a Boeing 737 MAX 8 jet that killed 189 people in Indonesia is ready, industry sources said Saturday, as the company tries to avoid a lengthy grounding of its planes. Boeing was d

Sri Lanka opens work on $3.85bn refinery

Sri Lanka opens work on $3.85bn refinery

Sri Lanka began construction yesterday of a nearly $4 billion oil refinery it hopes will revive foreign interest in its shipping facilities after Beijing’s takeover of a nearby port spooked international investors. Prime Minister

Disease fears mount for cyclone survivors

Disease fears mount for cyclone survivors

Disease is threatening to aggravate the already dire conditions facing millions of survivors following the powerful tropical cyclone which ravaged southern Africa 10 days ago, officials warned on Sunday. Cyclone Idai smashed into Mozam

Caliphate ‘a living hell’

Caliphate ‘a living hell’

For the millions forced to endure the Islamic State group’s brutal rule, life in the “caliphate” was a living hell where girls were enslaved, music was banned and homosexuality was punishable by death. The jihadists a

Hundreds airlifted

Hundreds airlifted

A cruise liner that ran into trouble in rough seas off Norway was being towed to port yesterday after hundreds of passengers were helicoptered to safety. The Viking Sky lost power and started drifting mid-afternoon Saturday in perilous