Chevron barred from drilling, transporting oil in Venezuela - U.S official

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Chevron's assets in Venezuela have been mothballed and the company is not allowed to drill, transport or barter oil there as the Trump administration cracks down on money going to the government of socialist President Nicolas Maduro, a senior U.S. official said.

Reuters April 23, 2020 00:05:52 IST
Chevron barred from drilling, transporting oil in Venezuela - U.S official

Chevron barred from drilling transporting oil in Venezuela  US official

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Chevron's assets in Venezuela have been mothballed and the company is not allowed to drill, transport or barter oil there as the Trump administration cracks down on money going to the government of socialist President Nicolas Maduro, a senior U.S. official said.

Seeking to increase pressure on Maduro, the U.S. Treasury Department late on Tuesday imposed tight new restrictions on Chevron's joint ventures with Venezuelan state-run oil company PDVSA, which could pave the way for the California-based company's departure.

The license "tightens and prohibits the ability for Chevron or any American company, to lift, barter, sell, deal with oil or petroleum products with the Maduro regime," the U.S. official told reporters in a call.

The license prohibits Chevron, which has been in Venezuela for about 100 years and is the last U.S. oil company operating there, from drilling.

But it allows Chevron to maintain assets there for when Venezuela returns to a democratic government, the official said.

"Essentially we have mothballed Chevron's assets in Venezuela, so therefore they can ... ensure that they have the flexibility to maintain their assets and facilities," the official said.

Chevron did not immediately comment but said on Tuesday the company would comply with applicable laws and regulations on activities it is authorized to undertake in Venezuela.

Chevron last month canceled service contracts and procurement processes at the two joint ventures, a move the company attributed to falling crude prices.

The company said its share of output at its joint ventures with PDVSA dropped 16% in 2019 to 35,000 barrels per day, mirroring the decline in crude output across the country.

(Reporting by Matt Spetalnick and Timothy Gardner; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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