The US gives Chevron limited permission to pump oil in Venezuela after reaching a humanitarian deal


The United States has given Chevron limited permission to resume pumping oil from Venezuela after announcing on Saturday that the Venezuelan government and opposition groups have reached an agreement on humanitarian aid and will continue to negotiate a solution to the country’s chronic economic and political crisis, including .a. focus on the 2024 election.

A senior Biden administration official described Saturday’s announcements as “important steps in the right direction” but noted that much remains to be done as both parties work toward a more permanent solution to the ongoing crisis. The official also highlighted the limited nature of the license, saying they do not expect this to have a tangible impact on international oil prices and that the move is intended as a spur to the talks – not a reaction to high global oil prices.

The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control issued Venezuela General License 41 on Saturday, which authorizes Chevron to “resume limited natural resource extraction operations in Venezuela,” according to a Treasury Department news release. This is a 6-month license and the US can revoke it at any time. Additionally, any profits earned will go toward debt repayment to Chevron and not to the Maduro regime, according to the senior official, noting that the U.S. government will continue to demand significant reporting from Chevron about its financial operations.

“GL 41 only authorizes activity related to Chevron’s joint ventures in Venezuela and does not authorize other activity with PdVSA. Other Venezuela-related sanctions and restrictions imposed by the United States remain in place; The United States will vigorously enforce these sanctions and will continue to hold accountable any actor who engages in corruption, violates U.S. laws, or violates human rights in Venezuela,” the statement said. PdVSA is the state-owned Venezuelan oil and gas company.

Chevron CEO Mike Wirth told Bloomberg TV earlier this year that if there was a thaw, it would take months and years to renovate their oil fields in the country and that there would be “no immediate” effect on oil production.

If the Venezuelan regime continues to take concrete steps toward reaching a negotiated settlement, then future targeted sanctions are possible, according to the official.

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