WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration has granted Chevron a special license to keep drilling oil in Venezuela despite a ban on American companies doing business with President Nicolás Maduro’s socialist government.
The Treasury Department late Friday renewed until April 22 the license for Chevron and four other U.S. service suppliers that are among the last American companies operating in the oil-rich South American nation. It’s the fourth time the U.S. has exempted the companies from the Venezuela ban.
Chevron, a San Ramon, California-based company, has operated in Venezuela for almost a century. Its four joint ventures with Venezuela’s state-run oil monopoly PDVSA produce about 200,000 barrels a day. That’s about a quarter of Venezuela’s total production, according to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
Critics among Venezuela’s opposition insist that Chevron’s continued presence in the country undercuts the Trump administration’s goal of ousting Maduro by providing him a valuable lifeline of badly-needed export dollars.