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PDVSA Cut Off Oil Supplies to The U.S.

"It's a non-event," Mr. Williams said

Venezuela's state company PDVSA said it has stopped exporting oil to Exxon Mobil, though the Chavez government softened its threat to end all crude shipments to the United States.

In a statement late Tuesday, the Venezuelan company said it has “paralyzed sales of crude to Exxon Mobil.” It added that the decision was made “as an act of reciprocity” for the company's “judicial-economic harassment.”

According to the analyst Jim Williams of WTRG Economics in Arkansas, Exxon currently buys very little crude oil from Venezuela, and would easily be able to replace those supplies.

“It's a non-event,” Mr. Williams said.

Exxon purchased about 2.6 million barrels of oil from Venezuela in November, according to figures from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. In total, the U.S. imported more than 300 million barrels.