Venezuela shifts oil ventures' accounts to Russia's Gazprombank - document, sources

11 Février, 2019, 01:07 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
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Reuters said PDVSA's move follows new U.S. financial sanctions imposed on January 28 and aimed at blocking President Nicolas Maduro's access to Venezuela's oil revenue.

A Venezuelan Supreme Court justice said Friday that National Assembly leader Juan Guaido's decision to declare himself interim president was "null and void". The United States and dozens of other nations have refused to recognize Maduro, characterizing his election last year to another six-year term as fraudulent.

Tensions rose when opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself acting president on January 23, a move which was supported by the USA and many European and Latin American countries. The joint ventures' partners include Norway's Equinor ASA, US-based Chevron Corp. and France's Total SA. "But we stress that no new accounts were opened and are planned to be opened in the bank", the spokesman said.

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"We would like to make formal your knowledge of new banking instructions to make payments in USA dollars or euros", wrote PDVSA's finance vice president, Fernando De Quintal, in a letter dated February 8 to the PDVSA unit that supervises its joint ventures. They also used correspondent banks in the United States and Europe to shift money to PDVSA's accounts in China.

The sanctions gave US oil companies working in Venezuela, including Chevron and oil service firms Halliburton Co, General Electric Co's Baker Hughes and Schlumberger NV, a deadline to halt all operations in the South American country.

On February 4, most European Union member-states recognized Guaido as Venezuela's interim president. The bottleneck has caused problems for PDVSA to continue producing and refining oil without imported diluents and components.

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