LatinNews Daily - 24 May 2023

In brief: US loosens sanctions on Venezuela’s oil sector

* The US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (Ofac) has issued a new general licence authorising four US firms to make transactions involving Venezuela’s state oil company Petróleos de Venezuela (Pdvsa). The companies authorised to engage with Pdvsa are oilfield services companies Halliburton, Schlumberger Limited, Baker Hughes Holdings, and Weatherford International. These companies will not be authorised to participate in the drilling, processing, commercialisation or transport of Venezuelan oil, nor to pay dividends (including in kind) to Pdvsa or any entity in which Pdvsa owns an interest of at least 50%, among other conditions. However, the general licence permits “transactions and activities necessary for safety or the preservation of assets in Venezuela”; “payment of local taxes and purchase of utility services in Venezuela”; and “payment of salaries for employees and contractors in Venezuela”, among other things.

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