Venezuela’s state-owned oil company PDVSA has announced a 5% drop in debt during 2018 to $34.6 billion, although the country remains in default on most of its bonds as crude output fell to 70-year lows on its economic crisis.
PDVSA has not paid interest on the majority of its bonds since the end of 2017, and has accumulated $8 billion in late interest payments, along with the government.
Venezuela blames the US sanctions for issues with payment, although critics suggest it is down to President Nicolas Maduro’s mismanagement of the economy and the country’s oil reserves.
A local newspaper suggested PDVSA now owe $24.7 billion, down from $25.1 billion in 2017.
Although US sanctions prevent holders of PDVSA and Venezuela bonds from negotiating debt restructuring, some have looked at the possibility of using legal action to get payments.