The U.S. on May 23 renewed for six months a license authorizing a group of U.S. oil service companies to preserve assets in Venezuela, keeping long-standing restrictions that prevent them from drilling, processing or handling any Venezuela-origin barrel of oil.

The license, issued by the U.S. Treasury Department, was first granted in 2019 to Halliburton Co., Schlumberger NV, Baker Hughes Co. and Weatherford International LLC, along with U.S. producer Chevron Corp, by former U.S. President Donald Trump's administration.

In November, the Treasury gave Chevron a separate license to expand operations in Venezuela and export crude to the U.S., but kept restrictions for the oil service companies.

The license this time extended the authorization to the service firms for preserving their assets in Venezuela through Nov. 19, the document published by the Treasury said.

Some of the four U.S. service companies have rigs and other specialized equipment stored in Venezuela. The license allows them to maintain those assets, offices and staff in the country, but does not authorize any core activity with state company PDVSA or its joint ventures, such as drilling or well maintenance.