US oil company Chevron Corporation will continue its oil drilling operations in Venezuela until January 22, 2020, after the US Treasury Department on Monday renewed the company’s licence to carry out such activities for another 90 days in the South American country.
“[Chevron executives] remain focused on our base business operations and supporting the more than 8,800 people who work with us and their families,” a Chevron spokesman, Ray Forh, was quoted in a Reuters article following the announcement.
The article also reported that the renewal of the Chevron’s licence has created much controversy within the Trump Administration.
While some members, such as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, believe the presence of American companies will play a critical in revamping the Venezuelan economy once President Nicolas Maduro is ousted, other White House officials maintain that continued oil production in the South American country only helps to prop up Nicolás Maduro’s presidency and advance his socialist agenda.
As far back as August 17, US President Donald Trump issued an executive order sanctioning any transfer of funds to, financing of and/or business dealings with the Government of Venezuela and its State-run oil company Petróleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA). He subsequently issued additional orders to similar effect in March, May and November 2018, as well as in January and August 2019.
According to a news release posted on Prensa Latina’s website: “Last January, the United States sanctioned Petróleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) as part of the coercive and unilateral measures implemented in the blockade that has intensified since 2018 in order to collapse the economy, destabilise the country and cause the forced exit of the constitutional president, Nicolás Maduro.”
Notwithstanding, in January Chevron received a waiver from the US Treasury Department to continue drilling for another six months in Venezuela. The department extended the Chevron’s waiver for a further three months after it had expired.