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Oct 18, 2017

Ship on the Ocean to Bring Lower Fuel Prices; Trump and U.S. Notwithstanding

The Donald Trump administration has put restrictions on U.S. banks from doing business with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and put the equivalent of ‘kingpin’ designations on President Nicolas Maduro and certain executives of the state-owned oil company Petroleos de Venezuela. So what does that mean for the prices at the pumps? Well, Prime Minister Dean Barrow had promised substantial reductions in prices around this time as Petrocaribe ramps back up. And while he conceded that the U.S. sanctions have caused a crimp in the plans, the reductions are on schedule – as soon as a Venezuelan ship touches down on our shores in a few days’ time.

 

Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“It is causing problems but the Venezuelans and ourselves, we are trying to work it out, because the question of payment and how to effect foreign currency payment to PDVSA looms very large in the context of Mr. Trump’s actions. Although I must say, when I checked on the sanctions, as I understood it there are no sanctions against PDVSA as PDVSA; there are sanctions against individuals, there are designations of President Maduro and so on. But the banks, even though you point that out, say we will not touch any transaction with a ten-foot pole; we will not facilitate any foreign currency transfer to Venezuela. So it is a difficulty. But the Venezuelans have been extremely good in allowing us to pay for the fuel in Belize dollars; now when and how a conversion will be able to take place is a matter that is very much up in the air. In the meantime though, a ship set out from Curacao two or three days ago, with Venezuelan oil, filling an order that had been placed after PUMA got in the one that saw some reduction in price, and by our calculations, when that ship is landed, you will see a further decrease in prices, to below where the prices were when we had that spike.”

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