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Chevron Getting Ready To Trade Venezuelan Oil, Once US Relaxes Sanctions: Reuters

Chevron Getting Ready To Trade Venezuelan Oil, Once US Relaxes Sanctions: Reuters
Oil giant Chevron Corp. is getting ready to take over complete control of the operations of its joint ventures Venezuela in the event of the United States relaxing its sanctions on Venezuela so that there is increase in supply of oil into the US to make up for the ban on imp[ort of Russian oil and gas, said reports quoting sources with knowledge of the matter.  
As a part of this preparation, the US-based oil giant has started to get together a trading team tasked with marketing oil imported from Venezuela, said reports. After getting US approvals, Chevron wants to increase its participation in operating the four joint ventures that it has with the Venezuelan state run oil company PDVSA, said the reports.
A license that is wide enough for the company to have a greater say in operating the joint ventures in Venezuela has been sought from the US government by Chevron. That would be a first step to recover crude output and exports, as well as to increase its control about where the oil is exported to, said the reports. Most of the decision making in the joint ventures have been delegated to state-run PDVSA since 2020.
However, according to sources, US officials have clearly told Chevron that that granting of any form of new authorization to it will be dependent on whether more political steps are taken by the Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, such as releasing of more Americans jailed in the country and announcing a concrete date for resumption of negotiations with the opposition in the Venezuela.
The oil sector of Venezuela could get revitalised by the proposed measures by Chevron and increase output and export of Venezuelan oil, following a number of years of underinvestment and sanctions that shrunk the oil output to about 755,000 barrels per day (bpd) as recorded last month compared to about 2.3 million bpd in 2016. Prior to the US sanctions on Venezuelan oil and the consequent drop in investments that cut down output, the joint ventures of Chevron with PDVSA had produced about 200,000 bpd.
No specific date has been fixed for granting of the new authorization to Chevron. However, Chevron has already started to prepare it’s employees to obtain visas to Venezuela in Aruba, so that they can be ready to move to Caracas once the sanctions are relaxed by the US, said reports.
The import of Russian oil and gas into the country was banned by US President Joe Biden last week, pilling on more sanctions on Moscow following its invasion of Ukraine – a venture that Russia has dubbed as a "special military operation."
The target of Chevron is to start to move Venezuelan oil to its refineries as early as next month. The US ban on Russian oil imports last week allows oil under existing contracts to get into the country through April 22.
"Since Venezuelan barrels were banned in the United States in 2019, and Colombia and Mexico reduced key exports to the United States, Russian barrels have been feeding the Gulf refiners", one person involved in the talks was reported as saying.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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