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Chevron allowed to keep drilling in Venezuela for another 3 months

PortandTerminal.com, July 28, 2019

President Trump has renewed Chevron’s license to drill for oil in the embattled South American country for at least 3 more months.

WASHINGTON – The Trump administration said on Friday that it has renewed Chevron Corp’s licence to drill for oil and gas in Venezuela despite sanctions, signalling that it sees value in having the US oil producer operate in a country on the verge of economic and political collapse.

Opposition leader Juan Guaido (left) / Embattled Socialist President Nicolas Maduro (right)

The US imposed heavy sanctions on Venezuela early this year in an effort to force out socialist President Nicolas Maduro. Washington supports opposition leader Juan Guaido, the head of the National Assembly.

The administration banned American companies and individuals from dealing with Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela, or Pdvsa, on Jan. 28, but it granted Chevron and four other US oil service companies a six-month waiver. That exemption has now been extended to Oct. 25.

Russia has plans for Venezuela

File photo: Russian President Vladimir Putin meeting with Venezuela’s Maduro

Venezuelan authorities had not commented directly on what they would do if Chevron’s license were not extended. But in April, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza praised Russia’s presence in the Orinoco belt and said that “companies that leave the oil belt will be substituted by companies of equal quality from Venezuela’s allies.”

“Companies that leave the oil belt will be substituted by companies of equal quality from Venezuela’s allies”

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido said on Tuesday he would seek to protect Chevron Corp’s assets in the country if the United States does not renew a license allowing the company to operate despite sanctions on the OPEC nation’s oil sector.

Venezuela’s oil production and economy in free-fall

Hunger across Venezuela is rising because of shortages. People often wait hours in lines that are miles long for meagre supplies. As tension and discontent among the civilian population increases, violence has spread.

Venezuela produced 734,000 bpd in June, according to OPEC secondary sources, down from an average of 1.4 million bpd in 2018.

“I never dreamed it would come to this. That in Venezuela, with all our petroleum, we would be struggling to get corn cakes.”

Yajaira Gutierrez, Accountant and resident of Caracas

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