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US Envoy Claims Venezuelan Oil Production Drop Not Due to American Sanctions

US Envoy Claims Venezuelan Oil Production Drop Not Due to American Sanctions

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Venezuelan oil production has steadily declined in recent months by about 50,000 barrels per day, US Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams said during a press briefing on Friday.

"There is certainly a steady drop in Venezuelan oil exports, partly that reflects the blackout, but even if you take the blackout out of it there is a very steady drop of maybe 50,000 barrels a month in production," Abrams told reporters.

Venezuela is currently producing about 1 million barrels a day, but the country's production levels are expected to drop below that level in about a month or two, Abrams said. However, he stressed that US sanctions had nothing to do with Venezuela's oil production dropping from 3 million barrels a day to 1 million.

The United States has imposed several rounds of sanctions on Venezuela. The US Treasury Department recently blocked $7 billion in assets belonging to Venezuela’s state-owned oil company PDVSA. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has denounced the sanctions as an illegal attempt to seize Venezuela’s sovereign assets.

The confrontation between the United States and Venezuela escalated this year, when on January 23, speaker of the opposition-led National Assembly Juan Guaido declared himself the country's acting president, gaining the immediate backing of the United States, as well as its allies around the world.

Russia China, Mexico, Turkey and several other countries continue to recognize President Maduro as Venezuela’s legitimate leader.

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