Spain’s Repsol gets US license to keep operating in Venezuela

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Spanish energy giant Repsol has received a license from Washington to keep operating in oil-rich Venezuela without running afoul of sanctions that were reimposed last month, Oil Minister Pedro Tellechea has said.

Washington slapped sanctions back on Caracas six months after lifting them, after President Nicolas Maduro’s government continued its repression of opponents ahead of July elections.

Caracas signed a contract with Repsol when the oil embargo was lifted, and agreed in April to boost joint production of oil and gas.

However, Washington now requires companies to apply for individual licenses to keep operating in Venezuela.

Tellechea said he was optimistic that Venezuelan oil production would reach one million barrels this year, partly due to the deal with Repsol.

He said production currently stood at 924,000 barrels per day.

“We will start to see what Repsol’s partners are (producing) and we are pleased that they have just given them the license,” Tellechea told a manufacturers forum.

The American oil company “Chevron has its license and a certain number of companies are in the process of receiving theirs,” he added.

According to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Venezuela’s oil production, which stood at over three million barrels a day 15 years ago, before plummeting to 680,000 in 2022.

Production edged up to 750,000 barrels a day in 2023.

The U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control has this month approved licenses for French oil group Maurel & Prom (M&P) and service providers, such as Halliburton, Schlumberger, Baker Hughes and Weatherford International.

Source: Daily News