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Venezuela May Curtail Oil Exports to U.S.

In comments published yesterday in a Caracas newspaper, Venezuela's oil minister warned the U.S. that it might steer oil exports away from the U.S. and toward other markets, particularly China and India.

In comments published yesterday in a Caracas newspaper, Venezuela's oil minister warned the U.S. that it might steer oil exports away from the U.S. and toward other markets, particularly China and India. According to the New York Times, Rafael Ramírez made the announcement due to what he described as aggression by the Bush administration. The report noted that it would be more costly for the country to do so because of the greater distances involved and other transportation and refining concerns. But Venezuela has already begun the process by promising to double its exports to China this year, to 300,000 barrels a day. Venezuela is currently the world's fifth-largest oil exporter and supplies more than 10% of American oil imports, amounting to about 1.5 million barrels per day.

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