Exclusive: Venezuela shifts oil ventures’ accounts to Russian bank – document, sources

CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuela’s state-run oil company PDVSA is telling customers of its joint ventures to deposit oil sales proceeds in an account recently opened at Russia’s Gazprombank AO, according to sources and an internal document seen by Reuters on Saturday. PDVSA’s move comes after the United States imposed tough, new financial sanctions on Jan. 28 aimed at blocking Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro’s access to the country’s oil revenue. Supporters of Venezuelan opposition leader and self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido said recently that a fund would be established to accept proceeds from sales of Venezuelan oil. The United States and dozens of other countries have recognized Guaido as the nation’s legitimate head of state. Maduro has denounced Guaido as a U.S. puppet seeking to foment a coup. PDVSA also has begun pressing its foreign partners holding stakes in joint ventures in its key Orinoco Belt producing area to formally decide whether they will continue with the projects, according to two sources with knowledge of the talks. The joint venture partners include Norway’s Equinor ASA, U.S.-based Chevron Corp and France’s Total SA. “We would like to make formal your knowledge of new banking instructions to make payments in U.S. dollars or… continue reading

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