Last October, Washington had granted a six-month general license for transactions involving Venezuela's oil and gas sector.

This move followed an electoral roadmap agreement inked by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and opposition politicians in Barbados. However, concerns arose as Maduro failed to uphold his commitments for a free election.

Since the exemption was initially granted, the U.S. has been a significant importer of Venezuelan crude, accounting for 26% of the total, equivalent to 142,000 barrels per day, as reported by Vortexa.

Greenpeace protest targets bunker vessel in Baltic over Russian oil trade Greenpeace protest targets bunker vessel in Baltic over Russian oil trade

Notably, China has maintained its status as the leading destination for Venezuelan barrels, with an average of 293,000 barrels per day in 2023.

Analysts at Braemar observed a noticeable uptick in Venezuela's oil exports over the past two years, coinciding with the easing of U.S. sanctions since the beginning of 2023.

This development underscores the potential fragility of oil sanctions relief agreements and emphasizes the ongoing commitment of the United States to uphold its end of the deal, as noted by tanker experts at rival broker Gibson.

The termination of Venezuela's oil sanctions exemption is poised to have a considerable impact on the global oil trade landscape, prompting a reassessment of international relationships and trade flows within the maritime sector.