The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday tossed out a lower court's ruling that had allowed a US oil drilling company to sue Venezuela over the seizure of 11 drilling rigs in 2010 but allowed the business another chance to press its claims.
Venezuela has donated US$500,000 to US President Donald Trump's inauguration, newly released records show. Citgo Petroleum, a US-based subsidiary of the Venezuelan state-owned oil company, is named in papers filed with the Federal Election Commission.
Venezuela's state-run oil company, PDVSA, sent a tanker in October to the Caribbean with the expectation that its cargo of crude would fetch about US$20 million - money the crisis-stricken nation desperately needs. Instead, the owner of the tanker, the Russian state-owned shipping conglomerate Sovcomflot, held the oil in hopes of collecting partial payment on US$30 million that it says PDVSA owes for unpaid shipping fees.
Venezuelan Supreme Court reversal decision to take over the opposition-led congress seems to have yielded to domestic and international pressure, but it still gives embattled populist President Nicolas Maduro broad new powers over the country´s vast oil wealth, which now appears to have been his true target.
In an effort to handle its overdue debts, Venezuela is all but giving away oil assets. President Nicolás Maduro is reportedly so desperate to pay the US$ 3.7 billion in debts that he is selling off the assets to Russia.
Although Venezuela has 18 refineries throughout the world and six on its own soil, on Thursday most states face a shortage of gasoline that has led to long lines at gas stations around the country. Venezuelans have spent hours in such lines, as they await a product that has been in short supply for several days in different cities across the country.
Venezuela's state-owned oil and natural gas company PDVSA and India have signed accords worth $1.45 billion whereby oil production is expected to increase from 430,000 barrels per day to 855,000 in less than a year. Exports in mind, there is a natiowide shortage of fuel.
Venezuela's PDVSA will discharge in the coming days its first cargo of U.S. crude bought from British BP, who along with China Oil was awarded a tender to supply the state-run company with some 8 million barrels in the second quarter, traders close to the deal revealed on Wednesday.
Venezuelan Oil Minister Eulogio Del Pino will visit Russia, Qatar, Iran and Saudi Arabia on a tour of OPEC and non-OPEC countries intended to drum up support for action to stem the tumble in crude prices.
Slumping crude prices have investors and analysts warning of a potential messy default in Venezuela, with state-owned oil company PDVSA owing some US$10 billion in external debt payments due this year. With crude hovering around US$28 per barrel, Venezuela could have trouble satisfying its obligations.