Two U.S. investment funds have formed a joint venture to invest in Venezuela's oil industry.
The funds, Gramercy Funds Management and Amos Global Energy, will partner with a division of Inelectra Group, a Venezuela-based company, which has a stake in an oil project off the eastern coast of Venezuela, where oil was discovered in 2001, Reuters reported.
The move may be a signal that the initial signs of thawing in Washington's relations with Caracas are now multiplying. Despite the fact that U.S. companies are only barred from doing business with state-owned PDVSA since the Trump administration enforced the sanctions on Venezuela U.S. investors have been less than eager to do business with private oil companies in the South American country as well.
Amos Global Energy, a fund set up in 2019 by a former Chevron executive, has a special focus on Latin America, per its website, and a more specific focus on Venezuela, per Reuters.
Gramercy Funds Management, for its part, is a fund focused on emerging market investments across asset classes.
The two partners in the joint venture said that the aim of the venture was to "contribute to balancing oil supply and demand," according to a statement by Ali Moshiri, the head of Amos Global Energy.
According to Gramercy partner Matt Maloney, the venture "will be beneficial to U.S. interests in the region and the U.S. economy by lowering fuel prices for American consumers."
It might take a few years before new supply from the project the two are investing in reaches U.S. drivers, but it appears that Washington is indeed relaxing its stance on Venezuela amid the fuel price shock.
Last month, the Biden administration relaxed restrictions for two European companies doing business with Venezuela, allowing them to export certain, albeit modest, volumes of Venezuelan crude to Europe.
By Michael Kern for Oilprice.com
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