Guaidó shows possible payment agreement to Conoco Phillips thanks to Citgo results

OFAC extends until October 2023 the license that protects Citgo from bondholders

The US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) published general license number 5L, which replaces the one issued in April 2023 and which maintained protection for Citgo Petroleum until July 20 of this year.


The United States Department of the Treasury, through the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), extended until October 20, 2023 the license that prevents the holders of the PDVSA 2020 bond from acting against the US subsidiary of the Venezuelan state-owned Citgo Petroleum Corp.

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) published this Wednesday, July 19, the general license number 5L, which replaces the 5K that had been issued in April 2023 and that maintained the protection of Citgo until July 20 of this year.

The US Treasury explained that during the period in which this license is in effect it is prohibited “the sale, transfer, assignment or pledge as a guarantee by the Government of Venezuela of any shareholding in any entity in which the Government of Venezuela has a 50% participation percent or more.”

Last March, Judge Leonard Stark of the US District Court in Delaware approved the start of the sale procedure of the shares of the PDVSA subsidiary, alleging that the sanctions imposed by the US government do not prevent that preliminary steps can be taken towards the offer of the shareholding of PDV Holding.

About, the ad hoc board of Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) ratified that an embargo or sale of shares of the Citgo refinery cannot be carried out until it is authorized by OFAC.

Judge Stark’s decision is due to the lawsuit filed by the Canadian Crystallex, which demands compensation of 1,200 million dollars for the expropriation of a gold mine executed in 2010. This company has been seeking compliance with an arbitration award against Venezuela for some time, in a process that it won at the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).

However, the new license also extends the suspension of the right of PDVSA 2020 bondholders to take control of Citgo, a measure that has been in place since October 2019. Lawyer and former interim government attorney José Ignacio Hernández , recalled on his Twitter account that since November 2019 the execution of the bonds it is deferred due to the nullity trial of the collateral.

“There is a belief that ‘Citgo is protected by sanctions.’ Actually, the suspension of the license was necessary to demand the nullity of the collateral. Since then, the execution of the bonds has been deferred, by agreement between the parties and by decision of the court”, he indicated.

*Also read: Once again, Maduro rejected OFAC license: Citgo is from Venezuela

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