Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has announced that US authorities have granted licenses to allow oil companies Repsol, Chevron and Eni to export oil and natural gas from Venezuela.
“Steps are being taken, the first steps. More or less a week ago, the United States took some small to significant steps by granting licenses to the companies Chevron of the United States, Eni of Italy and Repsol of Spain to start the processes needed to produce oil and gas in Venezuela to export to their natural markets,” Maduro explained.
“These are easy, small steps. Venezuela has the world’s first certified international oil reserve,” the Venezuelan President said in an intervention on Venezuelan television.
In addition, Maduro has recalled that Venezuela has significant hydrocarbon reserves. “The oil that this world needs to function is here in Venezuela, and we have in peace and sovereignty all the legal framework to raise and accept investments,” he stressed.
Two weeks ago, the Treasury Department licensed Chevron, the only major US oil company still operating in the South American country, to hold talks about a possible resumption of production, which had been shut down under US sanctions.
That license could lead to the lifting of oil sanctions, subject to the cooperation of the Venezuelan government, according to senior US officials quoted by The Washington Post.
Washington imposed sanctions on Venezuelan oil in 2019 in retaliation for the 2018 presidential election. Venezuela currently produces around 800,000 barrels of crude oil per day, a far cry from the three million it has sustained for years. The war in Ukraine and the embargo imposed on Russia led to a change in these sanctions.