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Chevron Confirms Receipt of License Allowing Import of Venezuelan Oil

Chevron Sign - Sputnik International, 1920, 26.11.2022
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Chevron confirmed to Sputnik that it received authorization from the US government to extract oil in Venezuela, adding that the company is determined to keep a constructive presence in the Latin American country.
The United States granted the new license after the Venezuelan government, led by President Nicolas Maduro, and the opposition resumed talks in Mexico City and came to an agreement on addressing the humanitarian crisis in the country, including an agreement on the continuation of talks focused on the 2024 elections in Venezuela.
"Chevron confirms the receipt of General License No. 41 as published by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and which authorizes the production and lifting of petroleum or petroleum products produced by the Chevron Joint Ventures (JVs), and to conduct related maintenance, repair, or servicing of the Chevron JVs," a Chevron spokesperson said in a statement to Sputnik on Saturday.
The new license, according to the spokesperson, means Chevron can now commercialize Venezuelan oil that is currently being produced from the company’s Joint Ventures assets.
Chevron is determined to remain a constructive presence in the country and to continue supporting social investment programs aimed at providing humanitarian relief, the spokesperson said.
Chevron is committed to conducting its business in compliance with the new framework provided, the spokesperson said, adding that the Treasury's decision brings added transparency to the Venezuelan oil sector.
Earlier in the day, a senior US administration official said the Treasury issued a time-limited general license authorizing Chevron to resume limited natural resource extraction operations in Venezuela, which will be effective for six months, but the US government retains the authority to amend or revoke the authorization at anytime should Maduro fail to negotiate in good faith or follow through on his commitments with the opposition.
The US official pointed out that under the license, Venezuela state oil company PDVSA will not receive profit from the sale of oil because profits earned will instead go towards repayment of debt to Chevron.
Moreover, the US official underscored that Venezuela-related sanctions and restrictions imposed by the US still remain in place and this decision should not be interpreted as a permissive environment on sanctions. However, the US will consider whether its policies remain open to further calibrating its sanctions on Venezuela, which will demand on whether the Venezuelan government takes concrete steps to address several key issues.
The US government will also continue to require significant reporting by Chevron on financial operations of its joint ventures in Venezuela to ensure full transparency, the US official said.
A source familiar with the matter said that for oil production in Venezuela to really move up, Western partners would need to be allowed to invest, which will take time with US sanctions still in place.
The US is looking at Venezuela as an additional source for crude oil, but has no intention of a blanket lifting of sanctions, sources told Sputnik earlier this month.
The Biden administration is looking for options to help lower gasoline prices for US consumers after OPEC decided to slash production due to a slowing economy and the Strategic Petroleum Reserve supply drops to record lows after President Biden released some 180 million barrels since March.
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