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Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro has accused the United States of infiltrating senior positions at the Venezuelan oil industry.
“There was a process of penetration and infiltration in key positions of the petroleum industry, to control strategic information,” Maduro was quoted as saying at a meeting with workers at the struggling state oil firm PDVSA on Tuesday.
The embattled president, who has just won a presidential election deemed illegitimate by other nations, also called for an “economic counteroffensive” against what he described as a U.S. economic war on Venezuela.
“Now we will continue with an economic counteroffensive, the most difficult thing... we are going to win this battle for economic peace, for stability, for prosperity, and we are going to go the length in the fight against the criminal economy,” Maduro was quoted as saying.
Maduro’s claims against the U.S. come just as the Organization of American States (OAS) said in a resolution on Tuesday that it decided to “declare that the electoral process as implemented in Venezuela, which concluded on May 20, 2018, lacks legitimacy, for not complying with international standards, for not having met the participation of all Venezuelan political actors, and for being carried out without the necessary guarantees for a free, fair, transparent and democratic process.”
Earlier this week, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asked the OAS to suspend Venezuela from the organization.
Related: Will Saudi Arabia Listen To U.S. Demands For More Oil?
While attacking the U.S. for infiltrating the oil industry, Maduro told PDVSA workers to start a production “revolution” at the state oil company.
PDVSA’s oil production has been plummeting and it is currently around 1.4 million bpd, according to estimates.
PDVSA has recently told eight foreign clients that it would be unable to supply the contracted volumes of crude oil, a company employee told S&P Platts earlier this week. The affected clients due to the low availability of crude oil to export include Nynas, Tipco, Chevron, CNPC, Reliance, Conoco, Valero, and Lukoil, which will partially receive the volumes established by the contracts, according to the PDVSA official.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.