Chevron says two employees arrested in Venezuela amid clampdown

Two Chevron Corp. employees were arrested in Venezuela on Monday amid a crackdown on alleged corruption in the oil industry by President Nicolas Maduro.

“We have contacted the local authorities to understand the basis of the detention and to ensure the safety and well-being of these employees,” Chevron said in an emailed statement. “Our legal team is evaluating the situation and working towards the timely release of these employees.”

Graft accusations, which the opposition says are motivated by political persecution, have resulted in the arrest of over 60 people, including two former oil ministers. The country is in the midst of a humanitarian crisis with skyrocketing inflation.

Chevron’s presence in Venezuela dates back to the Boscan Field discovery in the 1920s. The San Ramon, California-based oil major currently participates in five onshore and offshore production projects in the country, including four joint-ventures with state-run Petroleos de Venezuela, or PDVSA.

In 2017, Chevron’s net output in the country averaged 52,000 barrels a day of crude and 15 million cubic feet of natural gas.

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