CARACAS -- Venezuela's weekly oil basket rose above $100 a barrel for the first time since the Fall of last year because of continuing crises in Ukraine and Iraq.
According to figures released by the Venezuela Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, the average price of Venezuelan crude sold by Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA) during the week ending June 20 was $100.29, up $2.18 from the previous week's $98.05.
WTI in New York averaged $106.51 -- up $2.04 -- for the week, while Brent crude traded in London averaged $113.63 -- up $7.12 from the previous week.
According to Venezuelan government figures, the average price in 2014 for Venezuela's mix of heavy and medium crude is now $96.83. In 2013, it was $99.49, down from 2012's $103.42 and 2011's $101.06, but higher than 2010's $72.43, and much higher than 2009’s average price of $57.01.
So far in 2014, WTI has averaged $100.45 and Brent has averaged $108.49. In 2013, WTI averaged $97.96 while Brent averaged $108.70. Prior to 2010, Brent and the heavier Venezuelan crude had historically traded below WTI.
Venezuela's basket set its highest weekly average on July 18, 2008, when it hit $126.46 before economies around the world began crashing under the weight of expensive oil and crashing sub-prime debt.
The United States is the largest importer of Venezuela’s oil exports.
According to the US Department of Energy, the US imported a net 711,000 barrels a day of crude oil and products from Venezuela in November 2013 down from 2012's average of 906,000 barrels a day. In pure crude oil terms in November, the US imported 759,000 barrels per day, but exported back to Venezuela a net 47,000 barrels per day in refined petroleum products, including 39,000 barrels per day in liquified petroleum gases, 28,000 barrels per day of gasoline additive MTBE, and 11,000 barrels per day of gasoline. Venezuela exported 28,000 barrels per day in jet fuel back to the US.
In 2007, the US was importing 1.14 million barrels per day of crude oil from Venezuela.
Oil is the main export of Venezuela and provides most of the country's foreign currency.
According to data provided by Venezuela to OPEC, PDVSA produced 2.78 million barrels per day in 2013, slightly down from 2012's average of 2.80 million barrels per day. In 1998, before the administration of Hugo Chavez, Venezuela was producing 3.6 million barrels per day.