President Nicolas Maduro has decreed extra powers to his oil czar Manuel Quevedo to try and halt sliding crude output in crisis-hit Venezuela, which has sunk to its lowest level since the 1950s. Struggling with a deep economic recession, failed socialist policies, debt default, and U.S. financial sanctions, Venezuela’s crude production slipped to 1.586 million barrels per day in February, according to OPEC. Maduro’s decree, seen by Reuters, gives Quevedo, a major general, powers to “create, annul or modify” deals involving state energy company PDVSA and its subsidiaries. The oil minister is also head of PDVSA. It was not immediately clear what that might mean for PDVSA’s joint ventures. But Quevedo met late on Friday with some foreign partners including representatives of Total ( TOTF.PA ), Statoil ( STL.OL ), Chevron ( CVX.N ), Rosneft ( ROSN.MM ) and China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC). In a […]