Trump renews 3-month license for Chevron in Venezuela

The US Department of the Treasury renewed a license on Monday that allows Chevron to continue operating in Venezuela for another three months until January 22, 2020.

Some government officials of President Donald Trump refused a license renewal, claiming that oil production holds President Nicolas Maduro in power.

Meanwhile, others in the Trump administration see the permanence of a US company in Venezuela as an asset to an eventual exit from Maduro’s power.

“We remain focused on our basic business operations and supporting the more than 8,800 people who work with us and their families,” Chevron spokesman Ray Fohr said. The company, which has remained in Venezuela for almost 100 years, is reviewing the terms of the last license.

Neither state oil company PDVSA nor the Venezuelan Ministry of Petroleum responded to requests for comment.

The Treasury said the license does not authorize transactions related to diluent shipments, which Venezuela uses to transform its heavy oil into one of greater commercial value.

The general license also allows the operations of Halliburton, Schlumberger, Baker Hughes and Weatherford International for the same term.

In January, the United States sanctioned the Venezuelan PDVSA in an attempt to force Maduro out. But he granted Chevron Corp a six-month license to operate, which has been renewed twice for a period of three months.

The renewal of the license was key for workers in the Petroboscán field that Chevron operates together with PDVSA in Zulia state, the one most hit by the electrical crisis.

The US oil company also participates as a minority partner in the Petropiar joint venture, in the oil belt, a project in which PDVSA holds the majority shareholding.

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