Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro has named Eulogio Del Pino as the nation's new oil minister.
The announcement was made during a meeting between Maduro and senior members of the armed forces in preparation for the Bolivarian Sovereignty 2017 military exercise at the weekend.
Del Pino replaces Nelson Martinez, who will now head the state-owned oil company Petroleos de Venezuela, or PDVSA.
"I make this change to strengthen our hydrocarbons engine … for the global battle we have to take in defense of the oil," Maduro said.
He warned that the U.S. government is currently studying economic, energy and financial measures against Venezuela which could be announced within days.
Del Pino is a geophysics engineer who graduated from the Central University of Venezuela and proceeded to earn a Master's Degree in Exploration from Stanford University, according to PDVSA's website.
From 2008 to 2013, he was the vice president of exploration and production, the internal director of PDVSA, the president of PDVSA services, the president of PDV Europe and the director of the Venezuelan Petroleum Corporation.
In 2003, he served as general manager of the strategic associations at the Venezuelan Petroleum Corporation and PDVSA's representative of strategic associations for the Orinoco Oil Belt.