Washington is considering a proposal by US oil major Chevron to allow the company to accept and trade Venezuelan oil cargoes to recoup unpaid debt, Reuters reported on Monday, citing its sources.
People close to the discussions said that Chevron representatives in recent months held at least one high-level meeting with US diplomats along with Venezuelan opposition envoys.
Chevron has been lobbying for a year to secure a change in its license to operate in Venezuela. The energy giant wants Washington to reinstate trading privileges it enjoyed for a time under then-President Donald Trump’s administration. Back then the company, along with other foreign producers, were permitted to take and export Venezuelan oil to recoup dividends and debt from joint ventures with state-run oil company PDVSA.
Under that arrangement, Chevron was allowed to trade up to two million barrels per month of Venezuelan crude until mid-2020. Venezuela owes hundreds of millions of dollars to Chevron from joint ventures.
“The Biden administration has more and more incentives to ease sanctions on Venezuela after Trump’s failed strategy,” one of the sources told Reuters. “One of the most important ones is to bring something to the negotiation table” with Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro, he added.