US renews Chevron’s Venezuela license through Nov under the same restrictions

A Chevron gas station sign is seen in Del Mar, California, April 25, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Blake

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WASHINGTON/HOUSTON, May 27 (Reuters) – The US Treasury Department on Friday renewed a license to oil producer Chevron Corp (CVX.N) to operate in US-sanctioned Venezuela through the end of November under the same restricted terms granted to the company since 2020.

Chevron has since March doubled down on efforts to negotiate expanded privileges in its license, mainly to receive billions of dollars of pending debt by trading cargoes of Venezuelan oil. It also has unsuccessfully sought to gain some control of its joint ventures with Venezuelan state-run oil firm PDVSA.

The possibility of Venezuelan crude oil returning to the United States, once its largest single market, also had been discussed by US officials at a high-level meeting in Caracas in March.

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However, obstacles to resuming political talks between Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and opposition leader Juan Guaido, recognized by Washington as Venezuela’s rightful leader, ultimately limited expectations over the Chevron license reach this time.

US officials want to see progress in negotiations between Maduro and the opposition before deciding on any expansion to the terms of Chevron’s license, a person in Washington familiar with the talks said.

Chevron did not have an immediate comment.

Friday’s license Chevron to conduct “transactions and activities necessary for safety or the preservation of assets in Venezuela,” including those for securing safety, integrity of operations, participation in shareholder and board meetings, payments on third-party invoices, local tax payments , purchases of utility services and salary payments.

The license also authorizes oilfield service companies Halliburton, Schlumberger, Baker Hughes and Weatherford International to maintain assets in Venezuela.

Last week, Chevron received a separate authorization from the Treasury to engage in talks with Maduro’s officials and PDVSA through November, a move seen by analysts and sources as a preliminary step to a possible broader license later this year.

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Reporting by Timothy Ahmann and Matt Spetalnick in Washington; Writing by Marianna Parraga

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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