HAVANA TIMES – Rosneft, Russia’s largest oil company, is to withdraw from Venezuela, and will sell its subsidiary there and stop all operations, the firm said on Saturday, without initially stating a reason, reported dpa news.
Russia, as an ally of Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro, will remain active in the country, however, the Kremlin said.
Instead, an unnamed state-controlled Russian company will become the new owner of the business, according to a report in TASS, Russia’s state-run news agency.
Until now, Rosneft was among the last and largest investors from abroad in Venezuela. Its trading subsidiary, based in Switzerland, was recently subject to US sanctions.
Venezuela is said to have the largest oil reserves in the world, but these were poorly managed by PDVSA, a state-owned company, and production volumes have fallen sharply.
Rosneft held stakes in five oil and gas fields, extended billions in loans to PDVSA, and was the main buyer of Venezuela’s oil. The company also imports petrol into Venezuela.
Despite the US sanctions, the Kremlin recently said it would continue to support Venezuela.