CARACAS, Sept 15 (Reuters) - Venezuela's National Assembly,
controlled by allies of socialist President Nicolas Maduro, will
not reform the OPEC country's key hydrocarbons law this year,
the president of the Assembly's energy and oil committee said on
Maduro said earlier this year that the Assembly would
consider reforms to the legislation that would allow for "new
business models," after a collapse in crude output due to years
of underinvestment and mismanagement and, more recently, U.S.
sanctions aimed at Maduro's ouster.
But Angel Rodriguez, a lawmaker from the ruling United
Socialist Party of Venezuela who leads the committee, said his
colleagues needed more time to evaluate proposals, receive
comments from interested parties, and debate.
"The hydrocarbons law is still on the agenda, but we are
receiving the proposals," Rodriguez told Reuters following a
committee meeting. "I don't think there will be a reform this
The South American country's opposition has long advocated a
greater role for the private sector in the industry, which is
dominated by state oil company PDVSA. The current law
requires PDVSA to have a majority stake in oilfield joint
ventures with private and foreign partners, and grants the
company a monopoly on exports.
In July, France's TotalEnergies and Norway's
Equinor returned their shares in Petrocedeno - one of
Venezuela's most important joint ventures - to PDVSA, becoming
the latest in a long string of multinational firms to reduce
their presence in the country amid an economic collapse.
(Reporting by Deisy Buitrago
Writing by Luc Cohen and Alistair Bell)