WorldOil Harvest Natural Resources sues ex-oil chief over bribe demands Former Venezuelan oil minister Rafael Ramirez, already accused of corruption by his own country, now faces a lawsuit from a Houston energy firm alleging that it lost almost half a billion dollars over its refusal to pay bribes for contracts. Venezuela plight has U.S. rushing for heavy UK crude Oil refineries in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico are buying the most crude from the UK North Sea in more than seven years as they scramble to replace lost supplies from Venezuela. Venezuela's oil output crash is costly for U.S. refiners U.S. Gulf Coast refiners are paying the price for shrinking Venezuelan crude output. Innovative thinkers Rod Uchytil: Leaving an international impact Venezuela’s proposed 'petro' is a risky bet, with purported combination of cryptocurrency, oil reserves As the buzz around cryptocurrencies begins to reach a fever pitch, the Venezuelan government has announced a plan to release a new digital currency to help shore up its struggling economy. Venezuela oil sanctions more likely as Tillerson tours region U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson signaled the U.S. is closer to imposing sanctions on Venezuela’s oil sector, raising the pressure on President Nicolas Maduro as his talks with opposition leaders remained at an impasse. U.S. potential ban on Venezuelan oil may hit Valero, Chevron hardest If the U.S. bans oil imports from Venezuela, Valero Energy Corp. and Chevron Corp. may end up paying the price. 'Oil-for-loan' deals partly to blame for Venezuela's economic spiral China’s role in Venezuela, including oil-for-loan deals, is partly to blame for the South American country’s shrinking economy and the international community will probably shoulder the costs, U.S. Treasury Under Secretary for International Affairs David Malpass said. OPEC, Russia sustain production as Saudi Arabia masks Venezuelan drop Crude production by OPEC and its main ally Russia held steady last month as increases in Saudi Arabia and Iran offset the ongoing deterioration of Venezuela’s oil industry. U.S. shale growth could support Caribbean oil storage owners Caribbean oil terminals hurt by dwindling Venezuelan supply and a market that encourages traders to pull oil out of tank may get a shot in the arm from U.S. shale.