Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro appointed Pedro Rafael Tellechea Ruiz as the OPEC country’s new petroleum minister.

The appointment comes “within the framework of the transformation process that the industry is undergoing,” Maduro wrote on March 21 in a post on Twitter.

Tellechea, an engineer, replaces Tareck El Aissami, who tendered his resignation on March 20.


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Tellechea is the current president of state-owned Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), which continues to struggle to boost its production under the weight of U.S. sanctions imposed in early 2019.

It is unclear whether Tellechea will retain his post at PDVSA.