The cost of Venezuela's oil discounts

$100 billion. That’s how much oil discounts have cost Venezuela since 1999, according to estimations by a group of oil researchers who go by the name of Subaeshi.

Now, you may wonder what business I have quoting some random group of people from the Internet. But heck, check for yourselves – I can’t see any mistakes in the analysis, but perhaps you can.

The exercise is simple. Starting from the assumption that crude shipped to the Caribbean (er … Cuba) is sold at a 60% discount, and using historical figures from the IEA about Venezuelan oil shipments, they conclude that the subsidy to our “partners” costs some US$ 13 billion every year, or roughly US$ 100 billion since 1999.

Check out Subaeshi’s presentation – it contains some interesting graphs. Apparently, their stuff has been going around the last few days.

I emailed them, and they claim to be oil analysts with advanced degrees who wish to remain anonymous.

I’m a sucker for these kinds of calculations, so let’s debate its merits in the comments section.