PDVSA ad-hoc board executive

A sign at the entrance to the Chevron refinery in Pasadena

© Archyde.com/LOREN ELLIOTT
A sign at the entrance to the Chevron refinery in Pasadena

CARACAS, April 7 (Archyde.com) – The chairman of the ad-hoc board of state-owned Petróleos de Venezuela, which controls some of the company’s most important assets abroad, said on Thursday that it was very likely that Washington would extend the license Chevron, the last US oil producer in the South American country.

A high-level meeting between US and Venezuelan officials in Caracas in early March opened the door to talks regarding a possible relaxation of the sanctions that the United States imposed on the Venezuelan oil company in 2019.

“I think it’s very likely, very likely, that Chevron and the service companies are going to have their licenses extended,” said Horacio Medina, a former PDVSA executive who led the 2002 strike protesting the policies of then-President Hugo Chavez. , mentor of the current president Nicolás Maduro.

In 2020 Medina was appointed by the National Assembly as president of the ad-hoc board of PDVSA, following the Venezuelan opposition, led by Juan Guaidó, assumed control of the external assets of the state oil company.

Guaidó is recognized by the United States and other Western nations as the legitimate leader of the country and they question Maduro, whose re-election in 2018 was seen as a farce. The opponent also appointed an administrative board to the subsidiary of PDVSA in the United States, Citgo Petroleum Corp.

Depending on the time that the license contemplates, an extension would not be anything different from what has happened so far, Medina added in an online forum. “What (Chevron) seems to be asking for is to extend a license for one year, for two years.”

The US oil company has had a special operating license from Washington that exempts it from sanctions on Venezuela’s vital oil sector for periods of up to six months, but only to maintain minimal operations, leaving out activities such as drilling and trade.

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The license, which expires in June, also applies to oilfield service companies Halliburton, Schlumberger Limited, Baker Hughes and Weatherford International.

Medina said that Chevron would also aspire to directly operate the fields and market the crude, tasks that would require legal reforms by the National Assembly, currently under the control of the ruling party.

“There is a blocking stone that (is that) it has to go through an approval of this regime. After that, there is another request that this company makes, which is that it wants to be the operator of the fields (…) something that needs the approval of the National Assembly,” added Medina.

PDVSA and the Venezuelan Information Ministry did not immediately return requests for comment.

(Report by Deisy Buitrago,)

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