(Bloomberg) -- Colombia will allow a natural gas unit of Venezuela’s state oil company to operate in its territory, paving the way for fuel imports from its neighbor. 

PDVSA Gas SA Sucursal Colombia, a subsidiary of Petróleos de Venezuela SA, was taken over by the Colombian government in Feb. 2019. The company will return to Venezuelan control after reaching a deal with creditors to pay back 30.7 billion pesos ($7.8 million) of debt within the next two years, according to the Colombian regulator that oversees companies. 

Colombian President Gustavo Petro is seeking to address an upcoming natural gas shortfall in part with imports from Venezuela, starting as early as the end of this year. An idle and decayed 224-kilometer (139-mile) pipeline linking the two countries, owned by PDVSA Gas, first needs extensive maintance.  

Read more: Ecopetrol Weighs Options to Import Gas as Colombia Supply Drops

The US this week is set to decide if it extends the partial lifting of sanctions on Venezuela’s oil and gas industry, which have been in place since 2019. That would need to happen in order for Colombia to buy the fuel from its neighbor without clashing with Washington. 

In the meantime, for Venezuela, gas exports to Colombia would be a welcome source of revenue as the nation recovers from a seven-year economic slump.  

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