Reuters | Feb 11, 2019 22:20
By Marianna Parraga and Deisy Buitrago
(Reuters) - Foreign partners of Venezuela's PDVSA are facing pressure from the state-run oil firm to publicly declare whether they will continue as minority stakeholders in Orinoco Belt projects following U.S. sanctions, three people familiar with the matter said.
The sanctions on Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), imposed last month in an attempt to dislodge Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, barred access to U.S. financial networks and oil supplies for the PDVSA joint ventures, pressuring the nation's already falling crude output and exports.
PDVSA's Orinoco Belt joint venture partners, mostly U.S. or European companies, are facing difficulties getting cash-flow out of the country as a result of the sanctions, straining their ability to continue output and exports.
PDVSA has been in talks with the companies to persuade them to commit publicly to the joint ventures, the sources said in recent days.
PDVSA did not reply to a request for comment. On Monday, Venezuelan Oil Minister and PDVSA head Manuel Quevedo said on a visit to India that relations with international oil companies including Chevron (NYSE:CVX) were continuing.
France's Total SA (PA:TOTF), Norway's Equinor ASA, Russia's Rosneft and U.S.-based Chevron hold minority stakes in joint ventures with PDVSA that produce crude and operate oil upgraders capable of converting the country's extra-heavy oil into exportable grades.
The four crude upgraders are capable of converting up to 700,000 barrels per day. The oil is exported by the joint ventures and each partner receive its share of the exports.
Total believes it can stay in Venezuela, its Chief Executive Patrick Pouyanne said on Monday, although the firm last week said its bank accounts were blocked and it had evacuated its foreign employees.
Rosneft has continued working normally at its Petromonagas joint venture with PDVSA, according to the sources.
Equinor declined to comment on operational issues, referring questions to Petrocedeno, its joint venture with PDVSA. Chevron did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
PDVSA last week ordered Petrocedeno to halt oil production and upgrading, due to a lack of naphtha to dilute the extra-heavy crude, according to sources from the project.
The Petrocedeno-PDVSA venture's 220,000-bpd upgrader was already out of service when the decision was made, one of the people said. It is unclear when oil output will be halted.
PDVSA is studying if the other joint ventures in the Orinoco will have to halt operations, with diluent supplies dwindling, the people said.
India's Reliance and PDVSA's U.S. unit Citgo Petroleum are the main suppliers of naphtha to Venezuela, according to internal PDVSA data. Those flows have declined since sanctions took effect on Jan. 28, according to Refinitiv Eikon data.
Written By: Reuters
Trading in financial instruments and/or cryptocurrencies involves high risks including the risk of losing some, or all, of your investment amount, and may not be suitable for all investors. Prices of cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and may be affected by external factors such as financial, regulatory or political events. Trading on margin increases the financial risks.
Before deciding to trade in financial instrument or cryptocurrencies you should be fully informed of the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite, and seek professional advice where needed.
Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. The data and prices on the website are not necessarily provided by any market or exchange, but may be provided by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual price at any given market, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Fusion Media and any provider of the data contained in this website will not accept liability for any loss or damage as a result of your trading, or your reliance on the information contained within this website.
It is prohibited to use, store, reproduce, display, modify, transmit or distribute the data contained in this website without the explicit prior written permission of Fusion Media and/or the data provider. All intellectual property rights are reserved by the providers and/or the exchange providing the data contained in this website.
Fusion Media may be compensated by the advertisers that appear on the website, based on your interaction with the advertisements or advertisers.