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Sanctions show US has a ‘burning interest’ in Venezuela’s energy resources – Rosneft CEO

Sanctions show US has a ‘burning interest’ in Venezuela’s energy resources – Rosneft CEO
Venezuela’s natural resources lure many companies that would like to tap them, especially American ones, and sanctions against the South American country only confirm this, according to the head of Russian oil major Rosneft.

“Venezuela is number one in the world and everybody wants to work there, including American companies. The imposition of sanctions against this country shows only one thing – the burning interest in its resource base from the US administration,” Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin said on Tuesday.

Some US-based oil refineries specialize in processing Venezuela’s heavy crude. But the Latin American state has its own facilities to upgrade extra heavy oil into synthetic crude oil, to bring it to the quality accepted by US plants, Sechin explained.

Also on rt.com The human cost of US ‘economic war' on Venezuela: Hyperinflation hits 130,000% last year

“Of course, they want to deal with the resource base of Venezuela themselves, but we should not forget that it is a sovereign state, an independent country, and treat it with respect,” the CEO stressed.

He added that Russia abides by these principles, and that’s why Rosneft’s oil output in Venezuela has increased by 7 percent. Western sanctions had no significant impact on the Russian oil company’s business in the country and Rosneft does not expect production to fall this year.

Also on rt.com Russia vows to defend its Venezuelan oil assets

Rosneft is one of the largest investors in Venezuela, developing five energy projects in the country in conjunction with state oil company PDVSA. Overall geological reserves in the joint ventures amount to 80 million tons of oil.

In January, the Trump administration slapped Venezuela’s oil sector with sanctions. Oil production accounts for most of the country’s revenues. At the same time Washington vocally supports opposition leader Juan Guaido, who had declared himself interim president and has been calling for the ousting of elected President Nicolas Maduro.

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