WorldOil Equinor and TotalEnergies exit key Venezuelan JV project French oil company TotalEnergies SE and Norway’s Equinor ASA are exiting a key venture in Venezuela, adding to an exodus of foreign firms in recent years as the country’s energy industry has withered. Venezuela ignores U.S. sanctions in quest to increase oil output Venezuela’s state-owned oil company imported a key component needed to achieve its goal of almost tripling crude production, defying U.S. efforts to isolate the Maduro regime’s grip on power. Venezuela’s oil boss projects soaring output, despite crumbling infrastructure and U.S. sanctions “They blocked us, they sanctioned us, they stole all our foreign assets,” said Venezuelan oil minister Tareck El Aissami. “Without any financing, with our own money, we’ve been able to invest enough to stop the slide and start a gradual recovery.” Biden rejects Maduro’s call for the U.S. to end Venezuela sanctions President Joe Biden’s administration rejected Nicolas Maduro’s call for relief from U.S. sanctions, saying the Venezuelan leader needs to do more toward restoring democracy before penalties would be lifted. Biden administration grants Chevron another Venezuela sanctions waiver Chevron and top American oil-service companies won an extension to keep a limited presence in Venezuela despite U.S. sanctions intended to starve President Nicolas Maduro’s regime of petrodollars. Six Citgo executives held in Venezuela released to house arrest Six senior executives of Citgo Petroleum Corp. who have been detained by the Venezuelan government since 2017 were transferred from prison to house arrest, according to a person familiar with the matter. Chevron, Reliance request U.S. unwind some Venezuela oil sanctions High on the agenda for the U.S. and Indian oil companies: reinstating transactions known as oil swaps that would allow companies to receive Venezuelan crude in exchange for supplying diesel fuel. Millions of barrels of sanctioned Venezuelan crude finding their way to China The cat-and-mouse games that avoid detection and sanctions include ship-to-ship transfers, shell companies and silenced satellite signals. But there’s another aspect to the dodge. It involves “doping” the oil with chemical additives and changing its name in the paperwork so it can be sold as a wholly different crude without a trace of its Venezuelan roots. Maduro consolidates power with new Venezuelan National Assembly Since taking over for Hugo Chavez in 2013, Nicolas Maduro has resisted efforts to force him out, presiding over a precipitous deterioration of the oil-rich country. Biden prepares to tackle fossil fuels in the U.S. and abroad Joe Biden's cabinet picks, and his interest in working with China to stage elections in Venezuela, will make 2021 a transformative year for fossil fuels.