• 2 minutes Rational analysis of CV19 from Harvard Medical School
  • 4 minutes While U.S. Pipelines Are Under Siege, China Streamlines Its Oil and Gas Network
  • 7 minutes Renewables Overtake Coal, But Lag Far Behind Oil And Natural Gas
  • 3 hours China wields coronavirus to nationalize American-owned carmaker
  • 34 mins Joe Biden the "Archie Bunker" of the left selects Kamala Harris for VP . . . . . . Does she help the campaign ?
  • 10 hours Open letter from Politico about US-russian relations
  • 1 day US will pay for companies to bring supply chains home from China: Kudlow - COVID-19 has highlighted the problem of relying too heavily on one country for production
  • 3 days Trumpist lies about coronavirus too bad for Facebook - BANNED!
  • 6 mins COVID&life and Vicious Circle: "Working From Home Is Not Panacea For Virus"
  • 3 hours Trump Hands Putin Major Geopolitical Victory
  • 10 hours Oil Tanker Runs Aground in Mauritius - Oil Spill
  • 19 hours Trump is turning USA into a 3rd world dictatorship
  • 3 days China's impending economic meltdown
  • 2 days Liquid Air Battery
  • 2 days What the heroin industry can teach us about solar power (BBC)
  • 3 days The Truth about Chinese and Indian Engineering
Shale Productivity Is Reaching Its Limit

Shale Productivity Is Reaching Its Limit

Shale producers have been increasing…

Colombian Oil Major Reports Surprise Profits Despite Market Downturn

Colombian Oil Major Reports Surprise Profits Despite Market Downturn

Ecopetrol’s ability to significantly dial…

Irina Slav

Irina Slav

Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.

More Info

Premium Content

U.S. Sanctions To Halve Venezuela’s Oil Rig Count

A U.S. sanction waiver expiry later this year could see the number of drilling rigs in Venezuela’s Orinoco Belt slashed by half, putting additional pressure on Caracas by further reducing already low oil production rates.

Bloomberg reports that the sanction waivers that Washington granted U.S. companies still operating in the sanction-hit country are due to expire in late October. These are extended waivers that originally expired earlier this year but the government decided to extend them for three more months. The companies involved, however, had asked for six months, which is not a good sign for the prospect of any further extensions.

“Almost half the rigs are being run by the Yanks, and if the window shuts down on this in two months, then that’s really going to hurt Venezuela unless the Russians and the Chinese come in,” an analyst with consultancy Caracas Capital Markets told Bloomberg.

Among the U.S. companies operating in Venezuela are Chevron, Halliburton, Schlumberger, and bankrupt Weatherford. If they all stop drilling new wells, production of crude in Venezuela would drop sharply: new wells need to be drilled continuously just to maintain current production.

For the U.S. companies, this would mean further writedowns, after a total US$1.4 billion in writedowns on Venezuelan operations since 2018.

Yet it is quite possible that China and Russia will step in and help Caracas. Earlier this month, the news emerged that a Chinese company had sealed a deal with PDVSA to repair its refineries. PDVSA will pay for the services in oil products.

Besides Chinese companies, Russian ones are also bound to expand their presence in Venezuela if U.S. sector players are forced to move out. This is hardly the end result of the sanctions that the Trump administration had in mind, but it might end up being a side effect.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:


Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage





Leave a comment
  • Lee James on August 24 2019 said:
    I seriously wonder about Trump's program of economic warfare. Sanctions hurt ordinary citizens. Sanctions force countries to embrace other countries in trade. If we are the only country imposing sanctions, "we lose."

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News