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UPDATE 1-Venezuelan president names new head of PDVSA, foreign minister

Reuters · 01/06/2023 10:58
UPDATE 1-Venezuelan president head of PDVSA, foreign minister

Adds details, quotes

- Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Friday Pedro Rafael Tellechea as the head of state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) PDVSA.UL and said Yvan Gil Pinto would become the foreign minister.

Venezuela's oil exports last year declined due to infrastructure outages, U.S. sanctions and rising competition in its Asia market despite assistance from ally Iran, according to shipping data and documents.

Exports this year are expected to get a lift after the United States relaxed oil sanctions by authorizing some PDVSA partners to resume taking Venezuelan crude.

Tellechea has "great experience" leading state chemical company Pequiven and will "consolidate the momentum of the oil industry," Maduro said on Twitter.

It was unclear if Tellechea would lead both companies or if he would be replaced at Pequiven, where he has overseen a boost in petrochemical exports that provided much- cash flow to Maduro's administration.

Former head of PDVSA Asdrubal Chavez, a cousin of late President Hugo Chavez and former oil minister, will soon have responsibilities, Maduro added.

In a separate tweet, Maduro Gil Pinto to head the country's diplomacy.

Venezuela is enjoying renewed ties with countries like Colombia after years of isolation, bolstered by the global for oil amid the conflict in Ukraine.

"It's a great responsibility I'm sure he will perform with great professionalism," Maduro said about Gil Pinto, who had been serving as vice-minister for Europe.

Former foreign minister Carlos Faria will also get a role, Maduro added.

(Reporting by Vivian Sequera, additional reporting by Marianna Parraga, Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb, Editing by Angus MacSwan)

((julia.cobb@thomsonreuters.com; +57-316-389-7187;))