Russia’s Rosneft oil company has announced that it is selling 100% of its rights in all Venezuelan oil projects to a company owned solely by the Russian government. Rosneft will receive 9.6% of its shares, currently held by the government, in exchange for these rights. The sale means that Rosneft will cease all of its operations in the Latin American country.
In the official statement, the company's spokesman clarified that the decision was made in the interest of all of Rosneft's shareholders. He added that the oil company is waiting for the Venezuela-related sanctions to be lifted by the US Treasury as per its own promises.
The Kremlin has not yet announced what it intends to do with the newly acquired assets. Among these assets are shares in Venezuela’s Petromonagas, Petroperija, Boqueron, Petromiranda, and Petrovictoria oil companies.
The Venezuelan oil sector has been hit hard by American sanctions for the last two years, as the Donald Trump administration has sought to oust the country's democratically elected President Nicolas Maduro. Washington has namely tried to cut the ties of all foreign companies with the Venezuelan energy sector to stop the influx of money into the country's economy, which has been struggling with a crisis for several years in a row.
As a part of these attempts, the White House sanctioned two Rosneft-related companies, Rosneft Trading S.A. and TNK Trading International, over allegedly running operations with Venezuelan oil companies.