Chevron to promote Venezuelan oil chief to run Latin American operations following sanctions relief

Fabiola Zerpa, Bloomberg November 03, 2023

(Bloomberg) – Chevron Corp. will promote Javier La Rosa to run its operations in Latin America as it builds its presence in the region.

La Rosa, who joined the oil giant in 2000, will be based in Buenos Aires and replace Eric Dunning, who is set to retire after a 40-plus year career at the company, Chevron said. The change takes effect in April. Mariano Vela will succeed La Rosa as country manager for Venezuela.

The move comes as Chevron charts a path for a bigger role in Latin America with its proposed $53 billion acquisition of Hess Corp. The deal includes Hess’s 30% stake in an Exxon Mobil Corp.-led oil project in Guyana, the world’s largest discovery in the past decade.

In Venezuela, the company will expand works, including new drilling, after the Biden administration temporarily lifted a four-year ban on the country’s oil industry. Chevron expects production in the country to increase 15% by the end of the year, Chief Financial Officer Pierre Breber said in an interview last month.

The San Ramon, California-based company is the only U.S. oil major left in Venezuela since the late Hugo Chavez seized the assets of competitors Exxon and ConocoPhillips in the 2000s. During La Rosa’s tenure, Chevron obtained a license from the U.S. Treasury that allowed it to continue limited works in the country. It also conducted negotiations with the Nicolas Maduro regime to rewrite the terms of its oil contracts with Petroleos de Venezuela SA, secured control of its oil operations and restarted crude exports to the U.S.

La Rosa previously served as president of Chevron’s Brazil and Colombia operations, and has worked for the company in Europe, Asia and Africa.

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