A sign is posted in front of a Chevron gas station on July 31, 2020 in Novato, California.
Justin Sullivan | Getty Images
Chevron on Saturday received an expanded U.S. license allowing the second-largest U.S. oil company to resume production in Venezuela and to import the South American country’s crude into the United States.
The decision allows Chevron to revive existing oil projects in the U.S.-sanctioned country and bring new oil supplies to refiners in the United States. However, it restricts cash payments to Venezuela, which could reduce the amount of oil available to Chevron.
License terms are designed to prevent Venezuelan state-run oil firm PDVSA from receiving proceeds from Chevron’s Venezuelan petroleum sales, U.S. officials said. The license lasts for six months and will be automatically renewed monthly thereafter, according to the U.S. Treasury.
A Chevron spokesperson said the company was reviewing the license terms and declined immediate comment.
The U.S. issued the license on the same day that Venezuela and opposition leaders began a political dialogue in Mexico City by agreeing to ask the United Nations to oversee a fund to help provide food, health care and infrastructure to Venezuelans.
Terms bar Chevron from helping the OPEC member develop new oilfields but provides a way for the company to recoup some of the billions of dollars owed by PDVSA through the oil sales. The United States said it reserved the right to rescind or revoke the license at any time.
“This action reflects longstanding U.S. policy to provide targeted sanctions relief based on concrete steps that alleviate the suffering of the Venezuelan people and support the restoration of democracy,” the U.S. Treasury Department statement said in a statement.
The authorization could provide limited new supplies of crude to a market now struggling to replace Russian barrels shunned by Western buyers over its invasion of Ukraine. Chevron and other U.S. oil refiners could benefit from supplies of Venezuela’s heavy crude flowing to their U.S. Gulf Coast processing plants.
Analysts cautioned that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is likely to bristle at the restrictions included in the license, including the lack of cash payments that his administration sought. Proceeds due Venezuela from Chevron’s oil sales would go into a humanitarian fund rather than to PDVSA.
Terms will “require significant,” a U.S. official said, adding other sanctions on Venezuela and its officials remain in place.
“There is not a big incentive in the short term” for Venezuela, said Francisco Monaldi, an expert on Latin American energy policy at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. Terms could be relaxed over time depending on how the talks in Mexico City proceed.
“We’ll see how Maduro’s government reacts to it and how many cargoes will be assigned to Chevron after,” Monaldi said.
Boeing to slash about 2,000 white-collar jobs in finance and HR, report says
Boeing expects to slash about 2,000 white-collar jobs this year in finance and human resources through a combination of attrition and layoffs, the planemaker confirmed to Seattle Times newspaper on Monday.
Last month, the Virginia-based company announced it would hire 10,000 workers in 2023, but some support positions would be cut.
Back then Boeing acknowledged it will “lower staffing within some support functions” – a move meant to enable it to better align resources to support current products and technology development.
“Over time, some of our corporate functions have grown quite large. And with that growth tends to come bureaucracy or disparate systems that are inefficient,” the newspaper quoted Mike Friedman, a senior director of communications at Boeing as saying. “So we’re streamlining.”
Boeing did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.
Last year, Boeing said it plans to cut about 150 finance jobs in the United States to simplify its corporate structure and focus more resources into manufacturing and product development.
Trump appeals sanctions for ‘frivolous’ suit against Hillary Clinton
presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton attend campaign rallies in Ambridge, Pennsylvania, October 10, 2016 and Manchester, New Hampshire U.S., October 24, 2016 in a combination of file photos.
Mike Segar | Carlos Barria | Reuters
Former President Donald Trump and one of his lawyers said Monday they are appealing nearly $1 million in sanctions imposed on them for what a federal judge called their “frivolous” lawsuit against Hillary Clinton and more than two dozen other defendants.
The court filing about the appeal came days after a lawyer for Trump and his attorney Alina Habba told the judge in the case they were willing to put up a bond of $1,031,788 to cover the costs of the sanctions while the federal Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit considered the matter.
In imposing those sanctions Jan. 19, Judge John Middlebrooks said in an order, “We are confronted with a lawsuit that should never have been filed, which was completely frivolous, both factually and legally, and which was brought in bad faith for an improper purpose.”
Trump’s suit, which sought $70 million in damages, accused Clinton, former FBI officials, the Democratic National Committee and others of conspiring to create a “false narrative” that Trump and his 2016 presidential campaign against Clinton were colluding with Russia to try to win the election that year.
Middlebrooks in September dismissed the lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, and barred Trump from refiling the complaint.
He later ordered Trump and Habba to pay more than $937,000 in sanctions.
Middlebrooks in his sanctions order called Trump “a mastermind of strategic abuse of the judicial process,” and a “prolific and sophisticated litigant who is repeatedly using the courts to seek revenge on political adversaries.”
A day after Middlebrooks issued that order, Trump voluntarily dropped another lawsuit he had pending before the same judge against New York Attorney General Letitia James. That suit was related to James’ pending $250 million fraud lawsuit against Trump and his company in Manhattan state court.
Jared Roberts, the lawyer for Trump and Habba, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNBC about the appeal.
Nissan to buy up to 15% stake in Renault EV unit under reshaped alliance
Pavlo Gonchar | LightRocket | Getty Images
Nissan and Renault on Monday unveiled details of their redesigned alliance, with the Japanese car maker committing to buy a stake of up to 15% in Renault’s electric vehicles unit Ampere.
The alliance junior partner Mitsubishi Motors will also consider investing in Ampere, which Renault aims to list, the companies said in a statement.
“Nissan’s intention is to invest up to 15% in Ampere, Renault Group’s EV & Software entity in Europe, with the aim to become a strategic investor,” the statement said ahead of a presentation in London.
The companies had already announced that under the deal to revive their long-standing alliance the French carmaker would reduce its stake in its Japanese partner to 15% from around 43% now.
Renault will transfer 28.4% of Nissan shares into a French trust, making the two more equal partners in the alliance.
Sources close to the matter said the agreement aimed to make the alliance freer and more balanced for the next 15 years.
The partnership will produce synergies from joint projects in Europe, India and Latin America, and the companies will work together in Renault’s flagship EV business, electronics and solid-state batteries.
Renault will have flexibility to sell the Nissan shares held in the trust but “it has no obligation to sell the shares within a specific pre-determined period of time,” the statement on Monday said.
When it does sell, “Nissan would benefit from a right of first offer, to its or the benefit of a designated third party.”
The two companies last month announced a sweeping remake of their 24-year-old automaking alliance, which was thrown into disarray by the ouster of its architect and former chairman, Carlos Ghosn, amid financial scandal.
That announcement came after nearly four months of intense talks complicated by concerns about the sharing of intellectual property as Renault sought tie-ups with companies outside their alliance.
Renault’s board approved the deal on Sunday night, according to a source. Nissan’s board also approved it early on Monday, the source said.
Investors and analysts will be looking for more clarity on how the trust in which Renault will place the bulk of its Nissan stake will operate.
“There is absolutely no word about what’s going to happen to those shares in the trust,” said CLSA analyst Christopher Richter. “It seems they’re all avoiding the issue of Nissan buying them back which I think would be the best thing for all parties involved.”
Richter said Renault’s brand is not seen as being a strong brand, so it may be tough for the French carmaker to raise money for Ampere.
“I wonder once this thing goes into the market how much money you would really raise, he said. “That’s why I think they’re going to push Nissan to pay too much.”
The unequal relationship between the two carmakers had long been a source of friction among Nissan executives.
While Renault bailed out Nissan two decades ago, it is the smaller automaker by sales.
CLSA’s Richter said that the revamped alliance could enable Nissan and Renault to work together on R&D, shared costs and a few shared products “with a little bit less rancor and acrimony between them,” but added that Honda and General Motors <GM.N> have built a partnership that includes jointly developing lower-cost EVs together without any need for a capital relationship.
“One almost wonders what’s the point of them having any stake in either one, any stake at all,” Richter said.
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