Oil Tycoon Gets License to Continue Buying Asphalt from Venezuela

(Bloomberg) -- US energy magnate Harry Sargeant III secured a license to continue importing asphalt from Venezuela without breaching US sanctions.

Most Read from Bloomberg

Oil firms that want to stay or operate in Venezuela have been applying for permits from the US Treasury after Washington reimposed sanctions last month.

Texas-based Global Oil Terminals, owned by Sargeant, signed a contract with state-owned Petróleos de Venezuela SA in January to import six 95,000-barrel cargoes of asphalt for infrastructure projects in the US.

The two-year waiver, obtained on May 24, will allow Global Oil Terminals to continue purchasing and transporting asphalt to the US and the Caribbean region, Sargeant said in an interview. A US Treasury press official didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The US is trying to use sanctions as leverage to ensure fairer presidential elections in July. President Joe Biden’s administration recently reimposed restrictions on Venezuela’s gold and oil sectors after the Nicolás Maduro government backtracked on some electoral guarantees he agreed on last year.

Other oil companies with existing operations in Venezuela, such as French driller Maurel & Prom and Spanish oil major Repsol SA, have also been awarded licenses this month to continue their activities under sanctions. Additional firms such as Reliance Industries and Ecopetrol SA are also requesting waivers.

Most Read from Bloomberg Businessweek

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.