Renewable Energy

Venezuela's Guaido asks Jamaica not to seize PDVSA refinery shares

Credit: REUTERS/IVAN ALVARADO

The ad-hoc board of Venezuelan state-run oil company PDVSA, appointed by opposition leader Juan Guaido, said on Saturday it had asked Jamaica's government not to seize the company's shares in an oil refinery on the island.

CARACAS, June 15 (Reuters) - The ad-hoc board of Venezuelan state-run oil company PDVSA, appointed by opposition leader Juan Guaido, said on Saturday it had asked Jamaica's government not to seize the company's shares in an oil refinery on the island.

Jamaica's Senate in February passed legislation clearing the way for the government to acquire the 49 percent stake in the Petrojam refinery C}RO7309413950 that PDVSA PDVSA.UL acquired in 2006, part of late leftist President Hugo Chavez's energy diplomacy efforts in the Caribbean.

The board, appointed by Guaido earlier this year in part to defend PDVSA's interests abroad, said it had also warned Jamaica's government that "it cannot maintain any arrangements" with the government of President Nicolas Maduro, a Chavez protege whose legitimacy as Venezuela's leader is disputed.

"We formally request the suspension of this expropriation process," the board said in a statement, adding that Guaido had made a similar request personally to Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness.

Neither Holness' office nor Jamaica's foreign ministry immediately responded to requests for comment. The Caribbean nation's government owns the other 51 percent of shares in the refinery.

Guaido, the leader of Venezuela's opposition-controlled National Assembly, in January invoked the constitution to assume an interim presidency, arguing Maduro's 2018 re-election was illegitimate. He has been recognized as rightful leader by dozens of countries, including Jamaica and the United States.

His representatives abroad have fought efforts by creditors of Venezuela's highly-indebted government to seize foreign assets belonging to PDVSA.

But Maduro retains control of the military and most state functions, including PDVSA's day-to-day operations within Venezuela. He calls Guaido a U.S.-backed puppet seeking to oust him in a coup.

The United States in January slapped sanctions on PDVSA as part of its bid to oust Maduro, which has contributed to a further drop in the OPEC nation's crude output following years of steady decline due to underinvestment and mismanagement.

Those sanctions paved the way for Guaido's allies to take control of U.S. refiner Citgo PDVSAC.UL, PDVSA's most important overseas asset.

(Reporting by Luc Cohen; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

((luc.cohen@thomsonreuters.com; +58 424 133 7696; Reuters Messaging: Twitter: @cohenluc))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Latest Renewable Energy Videos

    Reuters

    Reuters, the news and media division of Thomson Reuters, is the world’s largest international multimedia news provider reaching more than one billion people every day. Reuters provides trusted business, financial, national, and international news to professionals via Thomson Reuters desktops, the world's media organizations, and directly to consumers at Reuters.com and via Reuters TV.

    Learn More