The Treasury Department said Saturday it would allow Chevron to resume pumping oil from Venezuela’s oilfields.
Why is this important: The license, granted by the Treasury Department, would allow the California-based oil company to pump Venezuelan oil for the first time in years in joint ventures with Venezuela’s national oil company Petróleos de Venezuela (PdVSA).
- It also signals an opening for other oil companies to resume operations in the South American country, two years after the Trump administration cracked down on corporate activities in a bid to pressure and overthrow the Maduro government, reports the Wall Street Journal.
- Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and the United Platform, an opposition coalition, reached an agreement to implement a humanitarian program and continue negotiations to hold free and fair elections in the country.
Details: The license prohibits PdVSA from collecting profits from Chevron and U.S. oil sales and does not authorize other business with PdVSA, the U.S. Treasury said in a statement.
- Other Venezuela-related sanctions and restrictions imposed by the United States remain in place.
What they say : “The announcements from the Unity Platform and the Maduro regime are important steps in the right direction to restore democracy to the country,” the Treasury Department said.
- “The United States welcomes and supports the reopening of negotiations between the United Platform and the Maduro regime, as part of our long-standing policy to support the peaceful restoration of democracy, free and fair elections, and the respect for the rights and freedoms of Venezuelans”.
Our thought bubble via Axios’ Andrew Freedman: This move, while tied to political developments in Venezuela, could help the Biden administration keep gas prices lower by adding more oil to the global market.
Rollback: US officials had previously proposed easing some sanctions against Venezuela to encourage peaceful negotiations between the opposition and the Maduro regime.
- In March, Biden officials made a rare trip to Venezuela to meet with the Maduro regime to discuss the release of American detainees and urge them to continue negotiations, which have been on hold for months.
Go further: US to ease some economic sanctions on Venezuela