(Adds details of pre-payments to PDVSA, context)
MOSCOW, Aug 8 (Reuters) - Russia’s largest oil producer Rosneft said on Tuesday it had made around $6 billion in pre-payments to Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA and had no immediate plans to make any further advance payments soon.
OPEC member Venezuela is struggling to pay back creditors as its economy endures triple-digit inflation and chronic shortages of food and medicine.
Last Friday, Venezuela inaugurated a new legislative superbody that is expected to rewrite the constitution and give vast powers to President Nicolas Maduro’s ruling Socialist Party, defying protests and worldwide condemnation that it undermines democratic freedoms.
Russia is a close political ally of Venezuela’s leaders. Rosneft Chief Executive Igor Sechin said earlier this year his company, the world’s top listed oil firm by output, would continue to work in Venezuela and would never leave the country.
As of Tuesday, Rosneft’s pre-payments to PDVSA have totalled sround $6 billion, Rosneft said on a conference call with investors. This includes principal of $5.7 billion and interest of $245 million, it said.
“The repayment is proceeding according to schedule,” the company said. “To date, a total of $743 million on the principal has been repaid and another $489 million in interest.”
“We expect the final repayment to be made in oil and oil product deliveries, which are ongoing strictly according to a schedule which we cannot provide to you. We expect full repayment before the end of 2019. No new pre-payments are planned.”
Rosneft also plans to close the deal to buy a stake in India’s refiner Essar Oil in the coming days, Pavel Fyodorov, Rosneft first vice-president, told the same conference call on Tuesday. (Reporting by Oksana Kobzeva and Olesya Astakhova; writing by Katya Golubkova and Dmitry Solovyov; editing by Maria Kiselyova and Adrian Croft)