HOUSTON/MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Spain’s Repsol has suspended its swaps of refined products for crude with Venezuela’s state-run oil company PDVSA, people familiar with the matter said, as U.S. officials weigh penalties for foreign firms doing business with Venezuela.
The Spanish oil company has been swapping fuel and waiving payments due from a joint venture with PDVSA in exchange for crude, even as the United States rolled out new sanctions aimed at ousting Venezuela’s socialist President Nicolas Maduro.
Arrangement - Repsol - OPEC-member - Nation - Fuel
The arrangement made Repsol one of the OPEC-member nation’s main fuel suppliers, alongside Russia’s Rosneft and India’s Reliance Industries, according to three sources and vessel-tracking data.
The Trump administration blames Maduro for a severe economic crisis that has forced millions of Venezuelans to flee. The United States and dozens of other countries recognize Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the nation’s interim president. Maduro considers Guaido a U.S. puppet.
Decision - Repsol - Venezuelan - Swap - Deal
A final decision on whether Repsol will cancel the Venezuelan swap deal altogether, after it was first arranged in late 2018, has not yet been made, the sources said.
A Repsol spokesman declined to comment on the petroleum swaps. But one of the sources said the company had been communicating with the Trump administration through the U.S. embassy in Spain, which declined to comment.
Repsol - US - Sanctions - PDVSA - Use
Repsol has said previously that it was complying with U.S. sanctions on PDVSA, which bar any use of the U.S. financial system or subsidiaries based in the United States for oil deals with Venezuela.
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