(Bloomberg) — Oil majors including Chevron Corp. and Repsol SA, are easing fuel shortages in Venezuela under new deals following the lifting of US sanctions that allowed them to expand their operations in the South American country.
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Italy’s Eni SpA and France’s Maurel and Prom SA are among companies that have delivered a series of fuels and refined products to state-owned Petróleos de Venezuela SA over the past four months, according to three people familiar with the matter. and data from the intelligence company Kpler. Ltd. Some of the deliveries are part of recently signed agreements that provide greater operational control to foreign partners, including sourcing and financial decisions.
Venezuela imported 84,000 barrels per day of refined oil, including gasoline, diesel and naphtha, in January, according to Kpler data. This is the highest level since October 2020, when Iran began supplying fuel to the country to deal with shortages.
The increase in imports has helped ease years of painful fuel shortages that forced drivers to queue for sometimes days to refuel their cars and severely restricted Venezuela’s industrial and agricultural activity. They follow the easing of U.S. sanctions in October, as the Biden administration pushed President Nicolas Maduro to compromise on free and fair elections.
See also: Venezuela deploys military to border with oil-rich Guyana
The United States granted a six-month license for oil operations in Venezuela. But it’s unclear whether companies will continue supplying fuel if oil and gas sanctions are renewed in April, as the Biden administration has warned.
“The supply of gasoline has improved at pumps throughout the country, with no queues for several days in cities outside Caracas, especially since January,” said Enrique Chacón, president of the Gasoline Federation. Venezuela service.
Western companies have replaced Iran as the main supplier of light oil products. Iran sent workers in 2020 to help renovate the Petróleos de Venezuela refineries as the company struggled to maintain operations, but no details have been revealed on the progress of that work.
Chevron, Eni, Repsol, Maurel and Prom and PDVSA did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
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