Venezuela’s PDVSA Pays off Part of Rosneft Debt

The state-run oil firm of Venezuela, PDVSA, has paid off nearly $700 million of its debt to Russia’s largest oil producer Rosneft, which is now down to $1.1 billion, the Russian company said on Wednesday, according to Interfax

According to Rosneft’s Q2 results presentation published on Thursday, as of March 31, 2019, PDVSA still had to reimburse $1.8 billion in prepayments provided by Rosneft. This outstanding debt decreased to $1.1 billion as of June 30, 2019, the end of the second quarter.

Last year, Venezuela repaid $2.3 billion of the loan it had received from Rosneft years ago, but the Latin American country still owed another $2.3 billion, excluding interests, Rosneft said in its 2018 results release in February this year.

Rosneft has extended $6 billion in loans to PDVSA, which needs to be fully redeemed through crude oil supplies by the end of this year.

Referring to its oil assets in Venezuela, the Russian oil company said in February that it had participation in five oil projects and holds 100 percent in a gas project, with export rights. 

Earlier this month, people with knowledge of shipping arrangements told the Financial Times that Rosneft had remained the last gasoline supplier to Nicolas Maduro’s regime in Venezuela, extending a lifeline to the Socialist leader whom Russia supports.

According to documents seen by FT, Rosneft’s trading arm Rosneft Trading shipped all the gasoline that Venezuela imported in June—eight cargoes totaling 1.7 million barrels via ship-to-ship transfers offshore Malta, Gibraltar, and Aruba. 

Meanwhile, the U.S. has intensified sanctions on President Maduro’s regime, with the sanctions now likened to a total economic embargo by analysts.