PDVSA gets $2B Credit Line
Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA on Wednesday said it had been granted a total of $2 billion in credit lines by oilfield services companies Halliburton Co, Schlumberger NV and Weatherford International Ltd.
"What we have signed is for the companies to increase activities in our country, in some cases doubling them," PDVSA President and Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez said at a ceremony in the western city of Maracaibo.
By giving credit lines to PDVSA, the companies will be able to increase their service contracts with OPEC member Venezuela.
The deal may allow PDVSA, whose cash-flow problems are well known, to postpone payments of accumulated debts to its main service providers. Last year, it signed a similar agreement with Schlumberger after accumulating pending debts of almost $1 billion.
PDVSA finances most of the socialist government's spending and does not receive cash for a third of its crude and products exports due to debt agreements and international supply pacts.
In 2012, PDVSA had accumulated $16.5 billion in debts to providers, but it has not released updated numbers since. Ramirez did not say when the new $2 billion credit would be effective or give details of the interest rate agreed.
(Reporting by Alexandra Ulmer in Maracaibo, and Diego Ore in Caracas; Writing by Andrew Cawthorne and Marianna Parraga; Editing by Eric Walsh)