Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Juan Guaido seeks to sell out Venezuela’s oil industry: report

© AP Photo / Fernando Llano

The “interim president” has offered to give Venezuelan oil to foreign private companies, and the US has already expressed its willingness to buy.

Juan Guaido , the self-proclaimed interim president of Venezuela, proposed a draft legislation that will sell Venezuela’s oil reserves to private companies, a Reuters report says. The move would shrink the participation of state-run PDVSA oil company.

“We need to change the current framework… we need to open up the oil industry to private investment,” said Ricardo Hausmann, Guaido’s delegate to the Inter-American Development Bank.

Under the proposed legislation, private firms could choose to run the day-to-day operations of Venezuelan oilfields, a major difference from rules left by Venezuela’s former leader Hugo Chavez, which only allowed foreign companies hold minority stakes without granting operational control.

PDVSA would remain the main player in Venezuela’s oil industry, the report says, but the company’s assets would be transferred and auctioned off by an “independent regulator,” the National Hydrocarbon Agency.

“All hydrocarbon reservoirs can be part of an auction to be decided by Venezuela’s Hydrocarbon Agency,” the draft legislation says.

Unsurprisingly, the United States are all too eager to invest into Venezuelan oil, as John Bolton, the US National Security Adviser, said it “will make a big difference to the United States economically if we could have American oil companies invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela.”

Bolton has repeatedly called on legitimate Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to resign, even hinting at the military option as a way to solve current crisis in the South American country.

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