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Chevron ... getting more time in Venezuela

Chevron ... getting more time in Venezuela

US renews Chevron’s licence

WASHINGTON

The Trump administration renewed Chevron Corp’s licence for three months to drill for oil in Venezuela despite sanctions, a compromise between officials seeking maximum pressure to oust socialist President Nicolas Maduro and those favoring a longer renewal for the company.

The Treasury Department renewed the licence through October 25 for Chevron, the last US oil company operating in Opec member Venezuela.

In January, the United States imposed sanctions on Venezuela’s state-run oil company PDVSA in an effort to oust Maduro. But it issued Chevron, which has been in Venezuela for nearly 100 years, a six-month licence to operate.

Washington supports opposition leader Juan Guaido, head of the National Assembly. The sanctions on PDVSA have cost Maduro’s government billions of dollars in oil assets.

A senior Trump administration official said most US agencies had argued against any renewal of the licence, and the Treasury Department had pressed for a full six-month renewal.

'Ultimately what came about was a compromise position,' amid concerns from President Donald Trump about staying tough on Maduro, the official said.

Chevron has four joint ventures with PDVSA that produce the equivalent of about 200,000 barrels per day of oil, and its stake in the ventures recently produced about 40,000 bpd.

Chevron has about 8,000 employees, contractors and direct suppliers involved in the ventures. 'Our operations in Venezuela continue in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations,' Chevron spokesman Ray Fohr said in a release.

The Treasury Department also renewed licences for three months for oil field service companies Halliburton Co, Schlumberger, GE’s Baker Hughes and Weatherford International. All have largely halted operations in Venezuela because of the instability.

The department said the renewals were granted for 'maintenance of operations' in Venezuela.




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