11:57 GMT +324 September 2019
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    An oil pumpjack and a tank with the corporate logo of state oil company PDVSA are seen in an oil facility in Lagunillas

    US to Add 34 of Venezuelan State Oil Firm's Vessels to Sanctions List - Pence

    © REUTERS / Isaac Urrutia
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    Addressing the issue of the Venezuelan crisis in his speech at Houston’s Rice University on Friday, US Vice President Mike Pence stated that Washington would hit Caracas’ energy sector with additional sanctions.

    As the US vice president announced, Washington's new move against Maduro's government would include sanctions on 34 vessels owned or operated by Venezuelan state-run oil company PDVSA and two firms that transport Venezuelan crude oil to Cuba.

    "Today we are taking action against a vital source of the [Nicolas] Maduro regime's wealth," Pence said. "At the direction of President Donald Trump, the United States of America will sanction 34 vessels owned or operated by PDVSA as well as two additional companies that transport Venezuelan crude oil to Cuba," he said.

    He has also noted that Washington was considering more sanctions.

    "We are considering more sanctions on the financial sector in the days ahead," Pence said.

    The United States has already slapped Venezuela's state oil producer PDVSA with punitive measures, blocking the company's assets worth $7 billion remaining under the US jurisdiction. According to the White House's forecast, the company might lose another $11 billion in oil supplies. In addition, the US introduced a ban on making deals with the company. Recently, commenting on the outcome of these restrictions, US Special Representative Elliott Abrams stated that Washington "had a fair amount of success" in persuading companies to reduce the amount of oil they purchase from PDVSA.

    READ MORE: US Successful in Persuading Firms, States Not to Buy Oil From Venezuela — Abrams

    The US punitive measures affected Venezuela's overall exports of crude oil and fuel: they have dropped to 920,000 barrels per day in the first month of sanctions, roughly 30 percent less than 1.5 million bpd in the prior three months, according to Refinitiv Eikon and state firm PDVSA data.

    However, reacting to American restrictions and pressure, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro vowed to increase extract an additional 1 million barrels of oil daily.

    READ MORE: Venezuela to Increase Oil, Gold Production in 2019 Amid Domestic Crisis — Maduro

    Tags:
    oil, sanctions, PDVSA, Mike Pence, Cuba, Venezuela
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