PDVSA of Venezuela, in default, says that the total debt remained unchanged in 2019

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FILE PHOTO: The entrance to the headquarters of Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA) is sealed by the police in La Paz, Bolivia, on January 9, 2020. Photograph taken on January 9, 2020. REUTERS / David Mercado

CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA said its financial debt fell less than 0.1% in 2019 compared to the previous year to about $ 34.5 billion, although it remained in default of its bonds because the sanctions froze it from the global banking system .

PDVSA, which is short for Petróleos de Venezuela S.A., has stopped paying interest on most of its bonds and, together with the Venezuelan government, has accumulated billions of dollars in late interest payments.

The company’s announcement, in the form of a notice in a local newspaper last week, said it owed nearly $ 25.2 billion to bondholders, just over $ 24.7 billion at the end of 2018.

PDVSA said its business debts with partners of foreign joint ventures, including Chevron Corp and China National Petroleum Corp [CNPET.UL], fell to $ 2.65 billion by the end of 2019, down from $ 2.66 billion at the end of the previous year.

The company, which has not published a full annual report since 2017, has not detailed other obligations, such as outstanding debt to suppliers, a problem that has contributed to the decline in production in recent years.

PDVSA breached some of its bonds in 2017 and the rest of its bonds in 2019. It is in default with $ 6 billion in interest and principles.

Venezuela informed OPEC of an average crude oil production of approximately 1 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2019, its lowest level in almost 75 years amid the sanctions imposed by the United States to overthrow the socialist president Nicolás Maduro, the lack of investment capital and personnel, and poor administration.

Luc Cohen reports; edition by Jonathan Oatis

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