US to Allow Venezuelan oil to be Shipped to Europe: Report

(The Hill, 5.Jun.2022) — The U.S. will reportedly resume allowing Venezuelan oil to flow to Europe, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The outlet on Sunday reported that Eni SpA and Repsol SA, which are Italian and Spanish respectively, could ship Venezuelan oil to Europe as early as next month after the Biden administration authorized the plan last month.

People familiar with the matter told Reuters that the oil “has to go to Europe. It cannot be resold elsewhere.”

The volume of oil Eni and Repsol will receive is expected to be fairly small with a minimal impact on oil prices around the world.

The Biden administration’s reported permission to allow for the use of Venzeluan oil comes as part of a push to rely less on Russian oil and redirect Venezuela’s shipments from China, Reuters added. 

In May, 18 progressive House Democrats wrote to Biden asking that he lift all sanctions against Venezuela that “exacerbate the humanitarian situation” amid President Nicolás Maduro’s alleged human rights violations. 

RELATED STORY: US to Let Eni, Repsol Ship Venezuela Oil to Europe, Reuters Says

But earlier this year, talks of lifting those sanctions and engaging more with Venezuela about oil were criticized by lawmakers

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) said a deal with Maduro for the purchase of Venezuelan oil “risks perpetuating a humanitarian crisis that has destabilized Latin America and the Caribbean for an entire generation.”

Tennessee Rep. Mark Green (R) said “it would be outrageous to even consider buying oil from Iran or Venezuela.

“It’s past time for us to take advantage of America’s abundant natural resources and become energy independent—and it’s time to cut off tyranny and totalitarianism at the knees around the globe,” Green added. 

Officials said at the time in March that they had not made any decisions about importing oil from Venezuela or Saudi Arabia to fill voids of foreign oil imports.

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By Monique Beals