MUMBAI (Reuters) - Reliance Industries denied involvement in any arrangements that lead to cash payments for oil supplies to Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA via third parties, and said it is not in violation of any U.S. sanctions, according to a statement from India’s giant oil refining company on Saturday.
Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro is funneling cashflow from Venezuelan oil sales through Russian state energy giant Rosneft as he seeks to evade U.S. sanctions designed to oust him from power, according to a Reuters story published on Thursday. The story was based on sources and documents reviewed by Reuters.
One internal PDVSA document indicated shipments of Venezuelan oil to Reliance in April would be settled via Rosneft. The document showed that PDVSA and Reliance would pay a fee equivalent to around 3 percent of the sale price, split between them.
Reliance said in the statement that reports it was involved in arrangements that lead to cash payments for oil supplies to PDVSA via third parties “are false and reckless.”
It said that since sanctions were imposed, Reliance has made any such purchases of Venezuelan oil with the full knowledge and approval of the United States government. It said that such transactions do not lead to any consequent payment to PDVSA and do not violate U.S. sanctions or policies.
Reliance said that the oil is bought at market prices and payments by Reliance for such supplies are settled in cash or by-product supply bilaterally between Reliance and the sellers. It is false to suggest that Reliance would be settling such shipments via Rosneft to PDVSA, it added.
Reporting by Swati Bhat; Editing by Martin Howell