Oil for the South

The emphasis placed by Venezuela on placing its crude oil in the Asian market finds support in the Report of the US firm McKinsey & Company, entitled Oil & Gas Practice, Global downstream outlook to 2035; and it has as a prelude the refereed article “International aspects of the refining industry”, written by Rosìo Vargas and published by the magazine Economía, of the National Autonomous University of Mexico.   

Just the Reuters agency reported that last June Venezuela increased oil exports by 63%, compared to last year's figures. The crude has been moved via transshipments from Malaysia that have driven shipments to Asia.

Venezuela's orientation towards Asia responds to the geopolitical reason to diversify markets adopted from its inception by the Bolivarian Government, a strategy that has been catapulted by the illegal and unilateral blockade imposed on PDVSA by the US Government. 

The diversification strategy has also been supported by the greater demand for crude oil from the southern countries, where they have built and most of the refineries are under construction, especially in Asia Pacific and the Middle East.

“For the 2018-2040 period, the construction of around 18 million barrels per day (MMBD) additions in refining production capacity is projected. If emerging economies continue to build surplus refining capacity, by 2040, other countries would have to withdraw around 10 MMBD in production capacity, which will result in refinery closures in mature markets, ”says UNAM's Economics Magazine.

Focused on the global refining park, McKinsey & Company predicts that global demand for petroleum liquids will peak in 2029 at 104 million barrels per day (MMB / D), driven by higher fuel consumption from road transport. , which will reach its highest level in 2023.

The firm foresees an increase in demand in Europe and the US in the short term (approximately 2025) and then decline, requiring around 5 MMBD at the end of 2035. But it immediately warns that “… in the long term the US and European margins decline by average 2 dollars per barrel, the lowest in 2031–2035 than in recent history ”.

The profitability of refineries is evaluated by refining margins. The gross refining margin is the difference between the value of the produced oil products leaving the refinery, and the value of the incoming crude.

"Asia and the Middle East are the only regions with growing value groups in the 2030s," says.

Another variable that affects the greater placement of oil in southern countries is that many industrialized nations make investments to reduce the environmental impact of refining and thereby attend to changes in product specifications.

“Decarbonisation is progressing. There are ambitious goals for a low-carbon transition by 2050. Some corporations are responding to those goals and taking action and making low-carbon products. Among the proposals to be made is to reduce the sulfur content in transportation fuels. As part of the obligations with renewable fuels for transportation, goals are established for biofuels by 2032 ”.

The Reuters agency reported that Venezuela recorded an average oil and fuel exports of 646.783 barrels per day at the end of the first half of 2021, which indicates a rebound of around 63% with respect to the minimum shipments that were had in July 2020 of 388.097 barrels per day and with a tendency to certain stability, which facilitates PDVSA's trade due to the recovery in demand and prices globally.


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