The U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has set a timetable for oil and gas companies to exit the country as Washington expressed dissatisfaction with Venezuela’s progress on holding fair national elections.

OFAC issued General License (GL) No. 44A, which replaces and supersedes GL No. 44, which is set to expire on April 18. OFAC advised oil and gas companies they have until May 31 to wind down operations in the OPEC member country.

Additionally, GL No. 44A prohibits transactions with financial institutions other than Venezuela’s Central Bank (BCV) or Banco de Venezuela SA Banco Universal, OFAC announced Apr. 17 in a press release.

GL No. 44A prohibits provisions of goods and services or new investment in an entity in Venezuela that is owned or controlled by an entity located in Russia. And it prohibits any transaction related to new investments in Venezuela by a person in Russia or any entity owned or controlled by a person located in Russia.


 US Eases Oil Sanctions on Venezuela for Six Months

At an April 16 press briefing in Washington, U.S. Department of State spokesperson Matthew Miller warned that if the government of Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro didn’t fully implement agreements negotiated in Barbados late last year that it would reimpose sanctions.

“[Maduro] has upheld certain aspects of the Barbados Agreement, including setting an election timetable and inviting international observation missions. At the same time, you’ve seen him block candidates from the opposition from the ballot. So those are things that we take very seriously,” Miller said.

OFAC issued GL No. 44 on Oct. 18, 2023 in response to positive negotiations in Barbados between Maduro’s government and opposition leaders. At that time Venezuela’s ruling party agreed to abide by certain stipulations regarding presidential elections and the release of prisoners, among other stipulations imposed by Washington to aid its decision to ease sanctions.

U.S.-based Chevron Corp. has a special license, GL No. 41, which allows it to continue to operate in Venezuela.