Venezuelan state-owned PdV paid $949mn in principal and interest on a 2020 bond, the only one of its debt issuances that is not in default, financial sector executives told Argus.
The payments, which had been expected despite the company´s severe financial distress, saves PdV from potential bondholder claims on its US refining subsidiary Citgo. The payments were due on 27 October.
The bond payments include $842mn in principal and $107mn in interest.
The 2020 bond is secured by 50.1pc of the shares of Citgo´s indirect parent company PdV Holding. The other 49.9pc is pledged to Russian state-controlled Rosneft for an oil-backed loan of $1.5bn.
Citgo´s fate remains cloudy because of a separate court action by former Canadian mining company Crystallex, which is seeking to enforce an arbitration claim for the takeover of its gold mining assets in Venezuela.
PdV will owe another $71mn in interest in April 2019 and $842mn in principal in October 2019 on the 2020 bond.
Venezuelan state-owned PdV has nearly exhausted its motor fuel stocks, forcing up to 80pc of the country's more than 2,700 service stations nationwide to suspend sales until further notice, according to four senior officials with the federation of oil unions (FUTPV).
Light crude supply from Venezuela is driving up throughput at Cuba´s main oil refinery, at no cost to Havana.
Venezuelan state-owned PdV utilized less than a quarter of the nameplate processing capacity at its main oil refineries in July, reflecting a shrinking pool of domestic feedstock and chronic equipment breakdowns.
Venezuela’s crude oil exports to the United States fell in November to their lowest level since January 2003, when a strike knocked down the country’s output, due to sanctions and a steep production decline, according to Reuters data.
One of China’s biggest state-held companies, Sinopec, is suing Venezuela’s debt-ridden state oil firm PDVSA in a US court over unpaid bills, in a sign that China may be losing patience with its Latin American ally and is changing tone and tactics.
Venezuela said it will cut 95,000 barrels per day of oil production in the New Year in fulfillment of a producers' deal to reduce global output and strengthen prices.