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U.S. oil company Chevron has a tanker on the way to sanctioned Venezuela, where it will pick up a load of crude oil destined for the United States.
The crude cargo will be the first Venezuelan crude oil shipment to arrive in the United States in almost four years, according to a Reuters source.
Chevron is also sending another tanker to Venezuela—this time set for delivery. The container is carrying much-needed diluents that will be mixed with Venezuela’s heavy crude. It will arrive in Venezuela in early January, the anonymous sources said.
Chevron holds a six-month license, granted by the U.S. government in late November, to expand its role in its Venezuelan joint ventures. This license allows the U.S. oil company to bring some sanctioned Venezuelan crude oil to the United States for sale to U.S. refiners.
Sanctions against Venezuela were introduced in 2019 by the Trump Administration, and the Biden Administration’s decision to ease some of those sanctions came after the resumption of talks earlier this year between the government of Nicolas Maduro and the Venezuelan opposition. Those talks led to the signing of a U.S.-brokered accord between the government and the opposition in order to resolve the country’s political turmoil.
Profits from the sale of Chevron’s Venezuelan-derived crude oil will go towards paying down the debt to Chevron and will not bolster state-run PDVSA’s profits.
Chevron is the lone U.S. oil company currently operating in Venezuela.
Chevron’s future in Venezuela and possible license expansions or extensions will depend heavily on the United States’ attitude to the Nicolas Maduro regime and the latter’s fulfillment of the promises that he made last month with the opposition.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.