07:13 GMT +324 July 2019
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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

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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.

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