Venezuela/PDVSA update: End of May 2020:

  • Florida-based private security firm Silvercorp USA was hired to capture Maduro and bring him back to the U.S. but the incursion failed
  • The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) announced on 12th May that Nynas is no longer being blocked pursuant to the Venezuela Sanctions Regulations. The 35 percent divested by PDVSA are now controlled by an independent Swedish foundation under no influence by PDVSA
  • Iranian vessels bringing millions of barrels of gasoline and components have arrived in Venezuela under military escort. Maduro is planning to fly to Iran to further develop relationship between the two countries
  • Crystallex has asked the US District Court for the District of Delaware to resume preparations for a judicial sale of PDVSA’s shares of PDVH, the holding vehicle for Citgo the Canadian miner’s request came after the U.S. Supreme Court denied the certiorari request from Venezuela and PDVSA, keeping intact a Third Circuit Court of Appeals decision affirming the Delaware court’s issuance of Crystallex ‘s writ of attachment for PDVSA’s shares of PDVH
  • Venezuela’s central bank made a legal claim to try to force the Bank of England to release $1.03bn in gold to fund Venezuela’s coronavirus response. The government says it has a deal with the U.N. Development Programme to administer the funds. However the Guaido camp has instructed Bank of England against releasing the gold to the Maduro-appointed central bank authorities. An English court will need to decide which of Venezuela’s dueling political factions to recognize Reuters reported

Venezuela/PDVSA update: End of April 2020:

  • Pompeo: Team to prepare reopening of U.S. embassy in Caracas, this could mean negotiations are going well
  • A reorganisation plan for PDVSA is circulating involving privatisation of oil refining and elimination of certain subsidiaries
  • Maduro appoints a U.S. ten most wanted as head of PDVSA and Hugo Chavez’s cousin a new oil minister
  • U.S. is deploying the Navy close to Venezuela’s borders while offering Maduro’s administration a “Transition Framework” before new elections
  • Dresser-Rand urges NY court to direct entry of final judgement against PDVSA Petroleo after the court granted Dresser-Rand’s motion for summary judgement against PDVSA Petroleo while denying a motion against PDVSA itself
  • Guaido’s administration urges U.S. supreme court to review Third Circuit’s Crystallex decision
  • Chevron’s special U.S. operating license exempting it from sanctions  ends. It has until December 1st to “wind down” its business in Venezuela

Venezuela/PDVSA update: End of February 2020:

  • Maduro allows local companies to issue debt in local currency for financing purposes
  • Venezuela litigation case captured the attention of investors and experts. The discussion focused on whether or not judgment trumps Collective Action Clauses (CACs).
  • Guaido returned to Caracas after the international trip, which included meeting with allies such as President Trump, Macron, Boris Johnson, and Justin Trudeau. His arrival was marked by violence and clashes with Maduro’s supporters while arriving on a commercial flight to Caraca’s main airport.
  • The OFAC sanctioned a unit of Russia’s largest oil producer Rosneft, for maintaining ties with Venezuela and facilitating the sale and distribution of Venezuela’s crude oil. The sanctioned unit was Rosneft Trading SA, a Swiss-incorporated brokerage firm. OFAC also sanctioned Rosneft’s Vice President for Refining, Petrochemical, Commerce, and Logistics Didier Casimiro.
  • Switzerland’s financial market authority has penalised Julius Baer bank for violating its obligations to fight money laundering. The sanction is related to alleged corruption linked to Venezuela’s state-owned oil company and global soccer body FIFA.
  • After securing a motion for Summary Judgment, Dresser-Rand requested permission to entry in final judgment against PDVSA over USD 130 million in unpaid promissory notes. PDVSA answered with a letter requesting the motion to be denied as premature
  • Reuters reported citing US Representative Elliott Abrams that Trump administration is weighing the possibility of pulling out Chevron’s license to operate in Venezuela
  • According to a note from Reuters, the Indian oil company Reliance would be planning to wind down purchases of Venezuelan oil in April, fearing from future U.S. sanctions.
  • Shipping reports compiled by Bloomberg shows that another Rosneft’s company, TNK Trading International SA, is taking control of Venezuela’s operations in substitution of sanctioned Rosneft Trading SA.
  • Venezuela proceeded to request that the U.S. Supreme Court issue a certification order to review a decision of the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. This measure intends to verify the seizure order of Crystallex International for PDVSA’s shares of PDV Holding.

Venezuela/PDVSA update: End of January 2020:

  • Venezuela’s political situation descended deeper into disaster as Maduro’s Government materialised a coup against the National Assembly lead by Juan Guaido
  • The gambit by the government of President Nicolas Maduro was slammed by the United States, the European Union, and a dozen Latin American nations. Even Mexico and Argentina, currently with a softer stand toward Venezuela, expressed their concerns
  • The U.S. sanctioned Luis Parra and other lawmakers, who settled with Maduro’s regime a coup against Juan Guaido and the National Assembly
  • OFAC renewed Chevron’s license to remain in Venezuela at least for another 90 days and until 22nd April. The license also granted rights to U.S. services giants, Halliburton, Schlumberger, Baker Hughes, and Weatherford 
  • OFAC also decided to extend to 22nd April any claim regarding defaulted PDVSA’s 8.5% bonds maturing in 2020. The notes have a 50.1% collateral over PDV holding shares, the parent company of CITGO and holder of important assets in the U.S
  • Red Tree investments, the holder of USD 182 million defaulted loans issued by PDVSA is advancing with its summary judgment motion, once the Court refused to stay the case another 120 days as requested by PDVSA
  • Guaido traveled to Davos to start an international agenda that included an appearance as a speaker in the Economic Forum, a massive public appearance in Madrid and meetings with presidents of Colombia, France, The UK prime minister, and Justin Trudeau in Canada
  • Guaido-led National Assembly approved last week a $20m resolution fund to keep up with the many trials that the country and the oil company are facing
  • Ben Bartenstein, Bloomberg analyst covering Venezuela published a note rising concerns over the prescription clause or status of limitation presents inside the prospectus of most Venezuela’s sovereign bonds. A “little-know” clause that “lets Venezuela off the hook on unpaid interest to any creditors after three years — if the creditor does not take legal action seeking repayment during that span”