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LatinNews Daily - 15 September 2020

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In brief: Venezuela announces new petrol fuel contingency plan

* Venezuela’s de facto government led by Nicolás Maduro has announced a new petrol fuel contingency plan that will “normalise and regularise” distribution in “the short and medium term”. The announcement was made by the ‘Alí Rodríguez Araque’ presidential commission, chaired by Oil Minister Tareck El Aissami, but it did not give details about the plan or elaborate on the current situation of the refineries. The statement by the commission, which was set up in February with the aim of guaranteeing the process of transformation and structuring of Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela SA (Pdvsa), blames the current petrol fuel shortages on “unfair, illegal and unilateral sanctions imposed by the US”. The sector has suffered at the hands of both economic mismanagement and the intense pressure created by US efforts to undermine the Maduro government. The latest monthly oil production figures from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) show that national crude production in  Venezuela averaged 396,000 barrels per day (bpd), down from 1.01m bpd on average in 2019.