Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
  Space Travel News  




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



A Venezuelan Oil Takeover

illustration only
by Carmen Gentile
UPI Energy Correspondent
Miami (UPI) Aug 08, 2007
Efforts to nationalize Venezuela's oil and gas sector have increased government revenue by $5.8 billion a year since 2004, according to President Hugo Chavez. In a national address last week, Chavez said, "You can't have a socialist economist model - without including oil," a reference to his recent efforts to wrest greater state control of the country's petroleum sector. On May 1, Venezuela's state-run energy company Petroleos de Venezuela SA assumed majority control of the Orinoco River oil reserve, a move that added an additional $800 million to state coffers, Chavez said.

The extra revenue will go toward social programs for poor Venezuelans, Chavez said, as well as education and defense.

Chavez also took time to defend Oil and Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez, who was criticized following recent comments from a PDVSA official who said the national firm was facing an uncertain future due to a shortage of oil rigs.

The official, Luis Vierma, exploration and production vice president at PDVSA, said Venezuelan oil faces a "significant operational emergency" if it does not increase the number of rigs operating in the country and that the state firm fell short of its 2007 goal of getting 191 rigs online in 2007 and producing some 3.3 million barrels per day. So far, he said, 112 rigs were online as of July, and by the end of the year the number would only likely increase to 120.

"Venezuela is moving toward technological independence, but it will take a long time," Vierma said.

PDVSA's independence could take even longer considering Venezuela's oil output is believed to have slipped by more than 250,000 bpd from a year ago, according to the Paris-based International Energy Agency. Production has reportedly decreased from 2.6 million bpd to 2.37 million bpd.

Meanwhile, some opposition lawmakers have accused Ramirez and others in PDVSA of corruption.

Hoping to counter the production shortfall, PDVSA recently announced it was investing $3.5 billion in new oil rigs, a much-needed injection of cash into improvements for a sector that some experts say has been abused by Chavez for his social programs.

State energy officials' concerns about "an operational emergency" could be a calculated effort to jump-start the oil sector, some analysts say.

"Recent statements by PDVSA officials declaring the company in ‚euro"operational emergency' seem to aim at legitimizing a fast-track procurement process that bypasses normal bidding rules," read a recent report by the New York-based Latin Source.

Peter DeShazo, a former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs and now Americas program director at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank, noted PDVSA's infrastructure has been neglected in recent years to fund Chavez's social spending agenda.

"Certainly PDVSA's overall capabilities are not what they used to be," DeShazo told United Press International.

Venezuelan oil has also faced setbacks in recent weeks on the foreign-investment front, prompting some to believe Chavez's policies could eventually be the sector's undoing.

Oil giants ConocoPhillips and Exxon Mobil Corp. announced in July they were pulling out of Venezuela despite spending millions of dollars in development over the last few years.

"They won't be missed," Chavez said of the companies.

Their pullout followed a protracted tussle between PDVSA and private foreign companies after Chavez announced Venezuela would acquire a majority stake in every operation in the Orinoco. While most companies acquiesced, Conoco and Exxon would not come to terms with PDVSA.

Source: United Press International

Related Links
Powering The World in the 21st Century at Energy-Daily.com



Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


Time To Withdraw Iraq Oil Law
Washington (UPI) Aug 07, 2007
Iraq's citizens suffer from the August heat, little electricity and fuel. Death is seemingly around every corner. So the time may not be right for an oil law, especially the one the Bush administration wants. United Press International has found a recurring theme over recent months during coverage of the Iraq oil law: creating a law governing the bloodline to Iraq's economy should be less of a priority than stopping the bloodletting of Iraq's citizens.







  • UC Experts Detail New Standard For Cleaner Transportation Fuels
  • Indigenous Cryogenic Stage Tested For Eight Minutes
  • Ecliptic Celebrates A Decade Of Successful RocketCam Launches
  • Launch Gantry At Cape A Bridge To The Future

  • ILS to Launch Inmarsat Satellite On Proton Vehicle Next Spring
  • Russian Proton-M Rocket To Launch Japanese Telecoms Satellite
  • A Double Transfer At The Spaceport For The Next Two Ariane 5 Launchers
  • European Automated Space Truck Arrive At South American Spaceport

  • Teacher Readies For NASA Endeavour Space-Station Shot
  • NASA Develops Wireless Tile Scanner For Space Shuttle Inspection
  • Countdown Underway For New NASA Shuttle Flight
  • Teacher Going Into Space 21 Years After Challenger Disaster

  • Progress Cargo Ship With Computer Equipment Docks With ISS
  • Progress 26 To Dock Sunday At Station
  • Russian Space Cargo Ship Progress Undocks From ISS
  • Progress To Launch To Space Station

  • Historic Phoenix Mars Mission Flies Actel RTAX-S Devices
  • Spaceport America Design Team Selected
  • Making the Transition From Shuttle To Constellation
  • Houston Wine Company Offers Wine Discount To NASA Astronauts

  • China Trains Rescue Teams For Third Manned Space Program
  • Chinese Astronauts Begin Training For Spacewalk
  • China Prepares To Select New Taikonauts
  • Dongfanghong 4 Ready For More International Satellite Orders

  • Successful Jules Verne Rendezvous Simulation At ATV Control Centre
  • Robotic Einstein Wows Spanish Technology Fair
  • Robotic Ankle For Amputees Is Developed
  • iRobot Receives New Military Orders 14 PackBot Robots

  • Dallas Professor Helps Mission To Red Planet
  • NASA Sends Robotic Lander In Search Of Water And Life On Mars
  • Extreme Analytical Chemistry Will Help Unravel Mars Mysteries
  • NASA Spacecraft Heads For Polar Region Of Mars

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright Space.TV Corporation. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space.TV Corp on any Web page published or hosted by Space.TV Corp. Privacy Statement