The sanctions' goal is to block the US refiners from paying into PDVSA accounts controlled by Maduro - one reason numerous tankers are waiting in limbo off Venezuela with payments unclear. The United States buys 500,000 barrels of Venezuelan crude per day.

The US PDVSA's customers are demanded to offer deposit payments into escrow accounts that have not yet been set up.

Venezuelan congress head Juan Guaido will be responsible for the funds.


Because of the US sanctions, this week there were more than a dozen anchored tankers in Gulf of Mexico or outside of Venezuelan waters. That happened because shippers wait for payment and delivery directions from purchasers.

Moreover, the traders stated that some cargoes were used as floating storage by buyers who took advantage of PDVSA’s open market sales ahead of sanctions. Others were held by trading firms struggling to find refiners willing to take the oil due to payment difficulties related to sanctions.

In addition, as Reuters stated the tankers were chartered by US  buyers of Venezuelan oil, including Chevron Corp, PDVSA’s refining unit Citgo Petroleum and Valero Energy, and trading houses that sell to refiners.

On the contrary, some tankers that waited to lift oil bound for American customers left the Venezuelan port of Jose over the weekend without loading

Concluding, the Gulf has now a long queue of tankers awaiting authorization to load.