The report was first published by Reuters and EFE, which quoted a White House senior official who asked to remain anonymous.
These statements came out shortly before the meeting between President Donald Trump and the president of the Venezuelan National Assembly Juan Guaido, who has been recognized by Washington and another 50 countries and international organizations as the rightful leader of this South American nation.
El gobierno estadounidense amenazó este miércoles a las petroleras Chevron, Repsol y Rosneft con sanciones por sus relaciones con Venezuela. pic.twitter.com/jLDBKTo4nt
— Cambio16 (@Cambio16) February 5, 2020
In late 2019, Washington imposed several sanctions on the Nicolas Maduro regime and state-owned oil company PDVSA.
These measures basically limited transactions between PDVSA and any U.S. entity. Hence, the company was not able to export crude to the United States and receive payments for said exports. It has also been unable to import thinners or gasoline from the North American country.
This is not the first time that the issue of these U.S. sanctions against the Maduro regime involves these companies.
In April 2019, U.S. special representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams warned that the Trump Administration could take further actions that target Repsol’s activities in the Caribbean country.
Days later, Repsol temporarily suspended its swaps of refining products for Venezuelan crude with PDVSA.
Ever since these sanctions came into force, Repsol has been one of the country’s main suppliers of oil products.
Repsol Chairman Antonio Brufau said in February that the company has been operating in Venezuela for 20 years and hopes to continue to do so for another 20 years. On that occasion, he insisted that “no country has sunk, they always end up coming out of difficult situations”; and that if the situation worsens “Repsol will be the least of worries, because the most important thing will be Venezuelans.”
The Spanish press has repeatedly assured that the company is complying with all the laws and sanctions regarding Venezuela in the development of its activities.
Waivers for Chevron
Thanks to a waiver granted by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Chevron has been able to continue its activities in Venezuela.
The waiver is valid for three months and has been extended several times. The most recent extension (January) allows it to operate in the country until April 22, 2020.
Chevron is the last major U.S. company still operating in this South American nation.
#EnVideo: el Presidente de EEUU @realDonaldTrump recibe al Presidente Interino @jguaido en the @WhiteHouse.#OnVideo: Tbe US President @realDonaldTrump welcomes VZ's Interim President @jguaido in the @WhiteHouse.
— CARLOS VECCHIO (@carlosvecchio) February 5, 2020
Relationship with Rosneft
Rosneft has maintained a long relationship with Venezuela since the days of late-president Hugo Chavez. In April 2018, Rosneft and PDVSA signed a refinancing agreement. This deal enables the Venezuelan state-owned company to get back on track with late payments to the Russians in exchange for more oil.
In 2019, Rosneft was the main receiver of Venezuelan oil.
For more information, check Energía16