Venezuela's PDVSA saw debt rise to $34.9 billion in 2021

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A state oil company PDVSA's logo is seen at a gas station in Caracas, Venezuela May 17, 2019. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado

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CARACAS, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA's consolidated financial debt rose 1.2% - some $400 million - to $34.9 billion last year, according to a statement published in government media on Wednesday.

Around three quarters of PDVSA's (PDVSA.UL) outstanding debt as of the end of 2021 were related to loans taken out by the parent company, mainly bonds, according to the statement published in state newspaper Correo del Orinoco.

The rest of the debt came from bonds and loans taken out by subsidiaries and joint ventures, it added.

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PDVSA halted payments to bondholders and many other creditors after it was subject to U.S. financial and trade sanctions.

Opposition-controlled boards supervising Citgo Petroleum, PDVSA's main foreign subsidiary, last year hired JP Morgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) to explore payment negotiations with creditors.

In 2021, Venezuela managed to halt the free fall of its oil output, which started when sanctions were introduced in 2019, depriving PDVSA of its main market for exports, the United States.

Venezuela this week reported to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) that production rose to 871,000 barrels per day (bpd) in December, pushing the 2021 average to 636,000 bpd, 12% above 2020 output.

Small service companies have contributed to Venezuela's recovering oil production, as have imports of key supplies from Iran.

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Reporting by Vivian Sequera and Marianna Parraga; Writing by Oliver Griffin; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne

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