US warns energy companies like Reliance Industries over ties to Venezuela’s Maduro

US President Donald Trump’s administration is ramping up pressure against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro`s government, and energy companies with ties to it, from India’s Reliance Industries , Russia`s Rosneft to US-based Chevron Corp , should “tread cautiously,” a senior administration official said on Wednesday.

The comments came in response to a question about possible sanctions against Rosneft on a call with reporters ahead of a White House meeting between Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido and US President Donald Trump.

“Everything is an option as regards creating pressure, whether it`s towards Russian entities that are supporting Maduro or others. So, absolutely, that … remains on the table,” the official said, emphasizing that the administration was “concerned” by more than just Rosneft`s behavior.

“Whether it`s Rosneft, whether it`s Reliance, whether it`s Repsol, whether it`s Chevron here in the United States, I would tread cautiously towards their activities in Venezuela that are in support, directly or indirectly, of the Maduro dictatorship because … we`re halfway through our maximum pressure campaign,” he added.

Rosneft, Reliance Industries , Spain`s Repsol and Chevron did not immediately respond to requests for comment. But some company executives were surprised by the tone of the remarks, since the US government has not taken action since it threatened oil firms dealing with Petróleos de Venezuela, SA, or PDVSA, in August, sources told Reuters.

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