The U.S. Department of the Treasury is giving companies still doing business in Venezuela more time to wrap up operations.

The department on Friday issued a new license giving the companies until Nov. 15 to conduct transactions "necessary for the limited maintenance of essential operations in Venezuela or the wind down of operations."

The license applies to Halliburton, Schlumberger Ltd., Baker Hughes Holdings and Weatherford International and their subsidiaries.

The license permits activities necessary to ensure the safety of personnel, or the integrity of operations and assets in Venezuela. It also allows participation in shareholder and board of directors meetings, payments of some third-party invoices, payment of local taxes and purchase of utility services in Venezuela, and the paying of employees and contractors.

It also forbids work on new oil wells or facilities in Venezuela, most activities involved in producing, purchasing or exporting petroleum products and payments to state-owned oil company PDVSA or its subsidiaries.

The license extension comes as the Biden administration attempts to walk a line between punishing Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro for reneging on pledges to hold free and fair elections later this year while protecting U.S. companies still doing business in the country.

On April 17, the U.S. reimposed sanctions on Venezuelan oil and gas exports while at the same time allowing for a 45-day period before the sanctions fully take effect. The Biden administration also said it would consider requests for specific licenses to continue doing business with Venezuela on a case-by-case basis at the end of the 45-day period.

Chevron, recognized as the largest contributor to the recent short-term growth in Venezuelan oil production, will be allowed to continue operating in the country under a separate license it received in November 2022.

Analysts have said a ban on Venezuelan oil exports could crimp supplies of heavy sour crude for U.S. refineries at a time when Mexico is restricting exports of its own crude and the start of operations on Canada's Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion is increasing global competition for Canadian heavy crude.

This content was created by Oil Price Information Service, which is operated by Dow Jones & Co. OPIS is run independently from Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal.

--Reporting by Steve Cronin,; Editing by Michael Kelly,

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

05-10-24 1542ET