Chevron evacuates Venezuela executives after government arrests workers: report

Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, evacuated executives from Venezuela after the country’s government arrested two workers, according to a report Wednesday.

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The arrests, part of a raid by national intelligence officers, were made in connection with a contract dispute between Chevron and state-owned oil producer PDVSA, Reuters said. The workers reportedly could face charges of treason if they don’t sign a PDVSA supply contract for furnace parts. Chevron’s staff rejected the contract due to high costs and a lack of competitive bids.

It was unclear how many employees Chevron pulled out of Venezuela. Chevron has asked employees who remain in the country to avoid facilities that are part of the joint venture with PDVSA.

The California-based company has a staff of about 30 people in Puerto la Cruz, Venezuela.

"Chevron has an executive team in place in Venezuela. Our operations continue," the company said in a statement.

Political and economic upheaval in Venezuela has made it difficult for U.S. businesses operating in the country. Last year, Venezuela seized a factory run by General Motors, which subsequently exited its business there. Reuters reported that Chevron currently has no plans to exit Venezuela.

This story has been updated.