The government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is mulling handing over full control over its state-run oil company PDVSA (Petroleos de Venezuela) to Russia’s Rosneft, local newspaper El Nacional reported citing industry sources.
According to the report, the initiative was put forward with an aim to secure the write-off of Venezuela’s debt to Russia in exchange.
El Nacional said the initiative received a largely positive feedback in Moscow. In that regard, several commissions have already been sent to Venezuela to estimate the current situation of PDVSA and the viability of the initiative, the sources said.
Russian experts reportedly came to a conclusion that the company should undergo a serious layoff to restore its competitive performance, the paper said.
So far, El Nacional wrote, a search is under way for legal ways to hand control over PDVSA to Rosneft without privatization. In line with the country’s legislation, the move is to be approved by Venezuela’s unicameral parliament, the National Assembly, which is under control of the opposition.
The United States imposed sanctions on PDVSA in January 2019, against the background of a political crisis in Venezuela. Washington also said the company’s assets in the U.S., amounting to $7 billion, will be frozen. The restrictions will be lifted only after the Venezuelan opposition assumes control over PDVSA.
Rosneft is one of the major investors in Venezuela, implementing several projects on oil exploration and development with Venezuela’s PDVSA. The companies also manage a joint operational base Perforosven.