The question is whether Canada can get them enough oil to slake their demand.
Venezuelan oil output has plunged by more than half in 30 years but the country still sits on the world's biggest crude reserves, so any political changes will ripple worldwide. Here's a look at how such a move might affect both countries.
Prices of heavier US grades like Mars Sour WTC-MRS , an offshore medium USA crude, and Heavy Louisiana Sweet crude WTC-HLS have risen as buyers scramble for supply.
Brent crude oil futures ended the session at $61.64 a barrel, up 55 cents, or 0.9 percent.
Sanctions could also include USA exports of petroleum products to Venezuela, used for blending with Venezuelan heavy crude.
In total, the net imports of crude oil and products in the United States during last week was 2.24 million barrels per day, down by 757,000 barrels per day from the previous week.
Oil prices edged higher on Friday as political turmoil in Venezuela threatened to tighten crude supply, but concerns over surging USA fuel stocks and global economic woes weighed on sentiment. The economic relationship between the two nations is being brought into focus as there may possibly be a U.S. embargo against Venezuelan oil. Rail-car loadings hit a record 356,000 barrels a day in the week ended January 11, according to Genscape Inc.
According to Reuters polls of hundreds of economists worldwide, a synchronized global economic slowdown is underway and would deepen if the U.S.
West Texas Intermediate crude for March delivery added 51 cents to close at $53.13/bbl on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
"Sharp production cuts by OPEC+ have kept crude oil futures supported however as market reports indicate for a marked output reduction in Dec 2018", said Benjamin Lu, analyst at Phillip Futures. OPEC member Venezuela is one of the world's largest oil producing countries, but its output has decreased from 2.4 million barrels per day in 2016 to a 70-year low of around 1.2 million bpd as the country has slipped into an economic crisis under Maduro's leadership. Refiners have been focused on benefiting from better demand for diesel in a strong US economy.
The oil executive also underscored "difficult access to water, and electricity" in Venezuela.More news: Day 2-Manikarnika Shoots Surprise on Box Office
More news: Alan Alda gets emotional on acting in SAG life-achievement speech
More news: Weather warning issued for Harrogate district amid serious threat of ice
IHS Markit Vice Chairman Daniel Yergin on the state of the oil market.
The U.S. could end up having to import some of that heavy crude from the Middle East, adding transportation costs.
Venezuela exports to the USA have been traditionally high, given geographic proximity, long term agreements and better relations.
Any sanctions would come just as the global market for heavy crude is tightening.
The head of French oil giant Total, Patrick Pouyanne, agreed that operating in Venezuela is hard. She noted that a ban on exporting United States dilutents to dilute heavy Venezuelan oil could greatly impact the nation. That's because light oil yields more gasoline than diesel, so as fuel producers seek to ramp up diesel production, they are piling up on excess gasoline.
Consumers probably won't feel much pain at the pump.
Still, some analysts said the possibility of immediate sanctions were unlikely.
Venezuela is very reliant on the US for its oil revenue. Gulf Coast refiners can't operate on USA shale oil alone.
Venezuela's other leading oil customers are China and India.
"The potential is that the U.S.is starting to put things in motion and the risk for an acceleration in the decline in production from Venezuela is increasing", Petromatrix strategist Olivier Jakob said.