Oil-for-loan debts with China and Russia cost Venezuela's PDVSA India market share

Venezuela's state-run oil company, PDVSA, has spent at least a decade trying to build business ties and boost shipments to refineries in India. Now, the ailing firm is being forced to slash sales to its crucial trade partner.

Venezuela has given up the fight for coveted market share in India because of a combination of declining crude production and heavy obligations under oil-for-loan deals with China and Russia. 

Caracas needs the oil to pay debts to China and Russia, key political allies that have together lent Venezuela at least $50 billion in exchange for promised crude and fuel deliveries.

In 2013, when Venezuela exports and oil prices were high, PDVSA raked in nearly $14 billion from India, the world's fastest growing large economy. By last year, after an oil price crash, that figure plummeted to $2.7 billion, according to a Reuters analysis of the PDVSA data.

So lower sales to India's refineries are further eroding the company's cash flow - and its ability to pay mounting debts to suppliers and service providers, which have caused delivery delays and cancellations around the globe.