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Reshuffle in Caracas

New appointments show Maduro plans to hold his course

Venezuela's epic economic distortions and political entanglement have long delayed oil and gas industry investment. Yet over the past two years, oil minister and PdV president Eulogio del Pino have begun to revive enthusiasm in the country's Orinoco Oil Belt, some marginal oilfields and, especially, in Venezuela's offshore natural gas sector. But del Pino and his team have faced an uphill battle coordinating with President Nicolás Maduro's patchwork cabinet. Oil-policy adjustments and commercial negotiations with investors must be accompanied by both macroeconomic and other reforms. Big deals require a big picture government buy-in. To date, with marginal political clout, the oil ministry h

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