January 24, 2019 / 10:40 AM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-Italy's Eni says monitoring Venezuela situation very carefully

(Adds detail, background)

MILAN, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Italian oil and gas group Eni is monitoring the situation in Venezuela very carefully but its production in the country for now is unaffected, a spokesman said on Thursday.

“The situation in the fields is quiet and under control,” the spokesman said.

On Wednesday Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president, winning the backing of Washington and many Latin American nations.

His move prompted socialist President Nicolas Maduro, who has led the oil-rich nation since 2013, to break relations with the United States.

OPEC oil producer Venezuela produced more than 2 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2017, but a deep economic and social crisis has seen output plummet as millions of people flee the country.

Foreign oil companies operating in the area have had problems with payments in oil from Venezuela.

State-controlled Eni, which has been in Venezuela since 1998, currently produces around 46,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

It has a 50 percent stake in the giant Perla gas field, a 40 percent stake in the Junin 5 oilfield and owns 26 percent of the Corocoro oilfield. (Reporting by Stephen Jewkes; editing by Jason Neely)

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