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    Storage tanks stand in a PDVSA state-run oil company crude oil complex near El Tigre, a town located within Venezuela's Hugo Chavez oil belt, formally known as the Orinoco Belt

    US Envoy Claims Venezuelan Oil Production Drop Not Due to American Sanctions

    © AP Photo / Fernando Llano
    Latin America
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Venezuelan oil production has steadily declined in recent months by about 50,000 barrels per day, US Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams said during a press briefing on Friday.

    "There is certainly a steady drop in Venezuelan oil exports, partly that reflects the blackout, but even if you take the blackout out of it there is a very steady drop of maybe 50,000 barrels a month in production," Abrams told reporters.

    Venezuela is currently producing about 1 million barrels a day, but the country's production levels are expected to drop below that level in about a month or two, Abrams said. However, he stressed that US sanctions had nothing to do with Venezuela's oil production dropping from 3 million barrels a day to 1 million.

    The United States has imposed several rounds of sanctions on Venezuela. The US Treasury Department recently blocked $7 billion in assets belonging to Venezuela’s state-owned oil company PDVSA. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has denounced the sanctions as an illegal attempt to seize Venezuela’s sovereign assets.

    READ MORE: Treasury: US Targets Russian Bank in Venezuela Sanctions for Alleged PDVSA Links

    The confrontation between the United States and Venezuela escalated this year, when on January 23, speaker of the opposition-led National Assembly Juan Guaido declared himself the country's acting president, gaining the immediate backing of the United States, as well as its allies around the world.

    READ MORE: PDVSA's Subsidiary Seeking $1.2 Bln Loan Amid US Sanctions Against Venezuela

    Russia China, Mexico, Turkey and several other countries continue to recognize President Maduro as Venezuela’s legitimate leader.

    sanctions, oil exports, oil production, PDVSA, Elliott Abrams, Venezuela
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