The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that as of the first quarter of 2018, U.S. imports of crude oil from Venezuela reached their lowest levels since January 1993.
The report said that Venezuela’s crude oil exports to the United States fell from 840,000 barrels per day in December 2015 to roughly 480,000 barrels per day in March 2018.
Although Venezuela’s oil output has been steadily declining since it peaked in the late 1990s, the country has been among the top exporters of crude oil to the United States. However, as Venezuela’s crude oil production decreased, so did U.S. imports of Venezuelan crude oil.
Venezuela, a founding member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), is an important participant in the global oil market. It ranked among the top 15 producers of oil and liquid fuels in 2017, but its output has fallen significantly since global crude oil prices fell from their peak in mid-2014.
Venezuela was the third-largest supplier of crude oil imports into the United States after Canada and Saudi Arabia, occupying a top-three spot from 2015 to 2017. In March 2018, Venezuela was the fifth largest supplier of crude oil imports into the United States.
The Venezuelan economy relies heavily on crude oil, and the decrease in oil revenues in recent years has resulted in a severely challenging financial situation.