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US renews license to oil service firms in Venezuela on same restrictions – Reuters

Halliburton’s campus in Houston, Texas, U.S. May 18, 2017. (Daniel Kramer/Reuters)

Reporting by Caitlin Webber and Marianna Parraga

EnergiesNet.com 11 20 2023

The U.S. on Thursday extended through May 16 a license allowing four oilfield service firms to maintain their current assets in Venezuela, while restricting what services they can perform in the country.

Washington in October issued a broad license temporarily allowing Venezuela’s oil and gas exports to its chosen markets, but warned the easing could be frozen or reverted if progress was not made in the following weeks towards a fair presidential election in the country.

Halliburton (HAL.N), SLB (SLB.N), Baker Hughes (BKR.O) and Weatherford International can maintain “essential operations” in Venezuela, including those to ensure personnel safety and asset integrity, according to a notice posted on the U.S. Department of Treasury website.

But the companies remain prohibited from drilling, lifting, processing, purchasing, transporting or shipping any Venezuela-origin oil.

Some of the four firms have engaged in talks with President Joe Biden’s administration in recent years to have their license expanded. More recently, some oil service companies from the U.S. and elsewhere also have been in talks with state company PDVSA to reactivate stored or damaged equipment in the country.

SLB’s CEO Olivier Le Peuch said in a call with investors last month the world’s largest oil service firm was planning a quick return to Venezuela’s oilfields if allowed by the new sanction regime.

Reporting by Caitlin Webber and Marianna Parraga; writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Doina Chiacu and Daniel Wallis

reuters.com 11 26 2023

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