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Trump Administration Gives Energy Companies Another Three Months in Venezuela

October 21, 2019

The Trump administration has given five energy companies with headquarters or major operations in Houston permission to stay in Venezuela another three months despite harsh economic sanctions designed to unseat strongman Nicolas Maduro.

In a Monday afternoon decision, the U.S. Treasury Department on Monday granted waivers to Chevron, Schlumberger, Halliburton, Baker Hughes and Weatherford -- allowing them to continue to do business in the crisis-ridden South American nation until Jan. 22...

Chevron and the other companies have been able to stay in Venezuela through waivers and licenses issued every three to six months by the Treasury Department. Until Monday's renewal, the licenses were set to expire on Friday...

Guillermo Zubillaga, an expert on Venezuela with the New York think tank Americas Society/Council of the Americas, said that allowing Chevron and other companies to stay is positive for long-term reconstruction efforts.

"It’s more immediately positive for the workers and their families who rely on these operations to survive," Zubillaga said. "With the already dwindling production, it was going to be a costly long-term move for an upside that wasn’t clear. The challenges for the US companies remain though and will likely increase in complexity and quantity. I’m talking about lack of skilled labor, theft, communications, storage and lack of power."

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