Organizers claimed that nearly 2 million Hong Kong protesters took to the streets Sunday in a rally to demand the city's top official resign a day after she suspended — but...China Politicsread more
Heavy rains caused unprecedented delays in planting this year and contributed to record floods across the central United States.Agricultureread more
Although Cook did not mention companies by name, his commencement speech in Silicon Valley's backyard mentioned data breaches, privacy violations, and even made reference to...Technologyread more
U.S. ambassador to Israel David Friedman called the gesture a "birthday present" to Trump, who turned 73 on Friday.Politicsread more
The agreement, which is on the framework for the plan of adjustment, provide for more than a 60% average haircut for all $35 billion, a 36% haircut on pre-2012 general...Bondsread more
In the survey, 66% of Democratic primary voters say they'd be enthusiastic or comfortable about Biden as their nominee to take on President Trump in the 2020 election. Just...Politicsread more
Target's registers were down on Saturday for several hours preventing customers from checking out.Retailread more
The newspaper wrote that Goldman's executive are hoping CEO David Solomon's changes to a firm that historically thrived in investment banking and trading will boost its...US Marketsread more
The Fed is not likely to make a move on interest rates when it meets next week, but it should clear the way for a rate cut later in the summer.Market Insiderread more
Representatives from the Chinese side say they think it likely that Chinese President Xi Jinping will attend the G-20 meeting later this month. But in order to reach a trade...China Economyread more
With uncertainty keeping a lid on U.S. stocks, Ed Clissold of Ned Davis Research says the rest of 2019 is likely to be a "choppy," but somewhat opportunistic, ride for...Futures Nowread more
* US sanctions on PDVSA an attempt to dislodge President Maduro
* Bar PDVSA joint ventures' access to U.S. financial networks
* Hinders their ability to produce, export
* Total, Equinor, Rosneft, Chevron hold stakes in JVs
* Orinoco Belt projects (Adds no reaction from Rosneft, background)
Feb 11 (Reuters) - Foreign partners of Venezuela's PDVSA are facing pressure from the state-run oil firm to publicly declare whether they will continue as minority stakeholders in Orinoco Belt projects following U.S. sanctions, three people familiar with the matter said.
The sanctions on Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), imposed last month in an attempt to dislodge Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, barred access to U.S. financial networks and oil supplies for the PDVSA joint ventures, pressuring Venezuela's already falling crude output and exports.
PDVSA's Orinoco Belt joint venture partners, mostly U.S. or European companies, are facing difficulties getting cashflow out of the country as a result of the sanctions, straining their ability to continue production and exports.
PDVSA has been in talks with the companies to persuade them to commit publicly to the joint ventures, the sources said in recent days.
France's Total SA, Norway's Equinor ASA, Russia's Rosneft and U.S.-based Chevron hold minority stakes in joint ventures with PDVSA that produce crude and operate oil upgraders capable of converting Venezuela's extra-heavy oil into exportable grades.
PDVSA did not reply to a request for comment. On Monday, Venezuelan Oil Minister and PDVSA head Manuel Quevedo said on a visit to India that relations with international oil companies including Chevron were continuing.
A manager at Rosneft said last week that the company did not expect oil output to decline at its projects in Venezuela this year, adding that the company saw the current situation in Venezuela as temporary.
Rosneft did not respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.
The four crude upgraders are capable of converting up to 700,000 barrels per day. The oil is exported by the joint ventures and each partner receives its share of the exports.
Total believes it can stay in Venezuela, its Chief Executive Patrick Pouyanne said on Monday, although last week the company said its bank accounts were blocked and it had evacuated its foreign employees.
Rosneft has continued working normally at its Petromonagas joint venture with PDVSA, according to the sources.
Equinor declined to comment on operational issues, referring questions to Petrocedeno, its joint venture with PDVSA.
Chevron's operations in Venezuela are continuing, a spokesman said on Monday, reiterating that the company was committed "to the country's energy development in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations."
Even if the companies commit to Venezuela, their ability to produce could be crimped by the sanctions. Last week PDVSA ordered Petrocedeno to halt oil production and upgrading, due to a lack of naphtha to dilute the extra-heavy crude, according to sources from the project.
The Petrocedeno-PDVSA venture's 220,000-bpd upgrader was already out of service when the decision was made, one of the people said. It is unclear when oil output will be halted.
PDVSA is studying if the other joint ventures in the Orinoco will have to halt operations, with diluent supplies dwindling, the people said.
India's Reliance and PDVSA's U.S. unit Citgo Petroleum are the main suppliers of naphtha to Venezuela, according to internal PDVSA data. Those flows have declined since sanctions took effect on Jan. 28, according to Refinitiv Eikon data. (Reporting by Marianna Parraga in Mexico City and Deisy Buitrago in Caracas; additional reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis in Oslo, Olesya Astakhova in Moscow; Editing by Rosalba O'Brien and Susan Fenton)