(Bloomberg) -- Venezuela’s government has hired Rothschild & Co. as a financial adviser to provide an overview of its foreign debt obligations, according to people familiar with the matter. 

Rothschild is working to map out what the administration owes and to whom, said the people, who asked for anonymity to discuss a contract that has not been made public. Debt mapping is normally a preliminary step taken by a government before it prepares to start a restructuring.  

Representatives for Paris-based Rothschild declined to comment. A press official for Venezuela’s Finance Ministry did not respond to messages seeking comment. 

Venezuela owes roughly $154 billion to overseas lenders — according to an estimate from economist Francisco Rodriguez, a professor at the University of Denver — including global bonds issued by the government and state oil company, which have been in default for more than six years. It’s been accumulating interest on those bonds and court judgments for unpaid commercial loans.

Sovereign bonds trade for around 20 cents on the dollar, while defaulted notes issued by Petroleos de Venezuela SA exchange hands for around 11 cents, according to indicative pricing compiled by Bloomberg. The debt has rallied since JPMorgan Chase & Co. laid out a plan to re-weight the securities in widely followed emerging-market debt indexes back in February.

REDD Intelligence first reported Venezuela mandated Rothschild as an adviser. The hiring comes amid a recent push by President Nicolas Maduro’s administration to reengage with global markets, mulitilateral institutions and ratings firms after years of international isolation. Over the years, the president has made overtures that it was willing to work with creditors, though those talks have never progressed. 

Washington doesn’t recognize Maduro, and sanctions prohibit the government from selling debt on US markets. Sanctions would need to changed before a debt restructuring could be carried out. 

Relations between the two countries worsened last week as the US reimposed sanctions on the oil and gas industries, citing Maduro’s failure to live up to promises to hold a fair election later this year. Venezuela, in turn, said Washington had breached a political agreement signed last year in Doha. 

Read more: US to Reinstate Venezuela Sanctions, Says Maduro Broke Deal

The country is set to vote on July 28 in an election that will pit Maduro against a candidate for the opposition, likely ambassador Edmundo Gonzalez.  

(Updates with REDD Intelligence report in sixth paragraph.)

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