UPDATE 2-U.S. Treasury to renew Chevron's Venezuela license as soon as Friday - source

·2 min read

(Adds license to run six months, no immediate comment by Chevron)

By Matt Spetalnick and Marianna Parraga

May 26 (Reuters) - The U.S. Treasury Department is expected to renew as soon as Friday Chevron Corp's license to operate in Venezuela under similarly, restricted terms of its existing authorization, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Chevron's current license will expire on June 1 if not renewed sooner. The last U.S. energy producer still in Venezuela has been operating under a document that allows it to preserve its oil and gas assets in the U.S.-sanctioned country.

The United States recognizes opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela's rightful interim president, and regards Socialist President Nicolas Maduro's 2018 re-election as a sham. But Maduro remains in power.

U.S. officials, Chevron and representatives of Maduro have been engaged in talks since at least March over terms of the license renewal.

Chevron did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Delays in resuming a dialogue between Maduro and Venezuela's opposition over a presidential election and other political demands have curbed expectations of expanded authorizations.

Last week, as part of those negotiations, Washington granted Chevron permission through November to talk to Maduro's officials and state-run oil firm PDVSA over future operations in the country.

The duration of that license and general license to operate in Venezuela will run concurrently, one of the people told Reuters.

U.S. officials have been waiting to see what, if any, progress is made in negotiations between Maduro and the country's political opposition before deciding whether to allow any expansion of Chevron's Venezuela operations, the people said. (Reporting by Matt Spetalnick in Washington and Marianna Parraga in Houston; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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