“Venezuela is an important producer,” Yergin, vice chairman at IHS Markit, told CNBC this week. “It seems on the verge of turmoil. If it really moved into turmoil and you lost oil from Venezuela, that would be a shock to the market.”
The United States is likely to turn to Canada to make up for any shortfall in Venezuelan shipments, according to Yergin. U.S. Gulf Coast refiners, who run sophisticated plants capable of processing heavy crude, are major buyers of Venezuelan oil.
Citgo, PDVSA’s Houston-based refining business, employees about 4,000 people at three refineries Texas, Louisiana and Illinois, according to its website.
Andrew Lipow, president of Lipw Oil Associates, says American refiners would not have trouble replacing Venezuelan supplies. He believes they can turn to Middle East producers like Iraq and Kuwait.