The Oil Sector Is in Decline Archives

January 19, 2007

War of the Executives

I’ve got a story in this month’s Energy Tribune. It’s about the sabotage of Venezuela’s state oil company back in ’02 and ’03. It starts off like this:

Four years ago, Venezuela’s state petroleum company was in chaos. Managers and executives had locked the doors to company offices, forcing thousands of workers into unemployment. Strike leaders vowed to bring down Venezuela’s economy unless President Hugo Chávez resigned. When it became clear that Chávez would not step down, and strike leaders would be fired, rogue officials began to systematically sabotage the company, shredding records, erasing databases, and destroying equipment . . . Some PDVSA saboteurs fled Venezuela to escape prosecution, using press contacts and financial resources to paint a wildly inaccurate picture of the company in the international media.

Ironically, the issue runs another story, by Mr. Gustavo Coronel, all about how terrible the company is. It ends with this:

Gustavo Coronel, a petroleum geologist, was a member of PDVSA’s first board of directors.

March 28, 2007

Profits of Doom. And Gloom.

The Associated Press is reporting that profits from Venezuela’s state oil company declined by a quarter last year. That would be a bummer, if it weren’t just plain wrong. Although to be sure, this is PDVSAs bad. As our own venerable former president would say, it really does depend on what the meaning of “profit” is.

Just a quick look at PDVSA’s actual report (you can read it here if you understand the Spanish), shows that:

>> Revenue was up up up: almost 20% from the year before;
>> “Gross Profit” is going gangbusters: a 15% increase; and
>> Social spending based on these revenues increased a whopping 50%.

But PDVSA is a state oil company, and so the only shareholders are the Venezuelan public. PDVSA is reporting “social spending” in the form of schools, hospitals and the famous misiones as a business expense. But in reality, the profits are in, and the social investments are simply how the state chooses to spend its profits.

So breathe easy, people. Take a lude. PDVSA’s profits were high last year. They’re just distributing it to the shareholders. Novel concept.

April 4, 2007

By “Bad,” We Mean “Better Than Everybody Else”


How bad is Venezuela’s state oil company for foreign investors? Bad bad, says USA Today. Really truly horribly communistically confidence-shatteringly horrible. With one caveat:

“Venezuela's tough new terms are better than those offered by other oil-producing countries with closer political ties to the U.S. After all, Venezuela will continue to permit private companies an ownership stake in exploration and production projects — something prohibited by Mexico and Saudi Arabia.”

Somebody slipped some context passed his editor! But when will we see that exposé of the Saudi oil company?

September 27, 2007

Things Were Different When The Rich Were In Power

Holy crap! There are accusations of corruption within Venezuela’s state oil company! As the New Statesman helpfully explains, there have, of course, always been accusations of corruption at PDVSA only before Chavez nobody seemed to give a shit.

November 5, 2007

Who Knew?

Apparently, there is a New York Times reporter even lazier than Simon Romero. Oil Wars has the full analysis.

March 28, 2008

First Draft of History Needs an Edit

Yesterday Venezuela’s state oil company, PdVSA, released its 2007 figures. Finance blog Inca Kola News has already gone through the data and made funny predictions of how the English language press corps will get the story wrong. So basically the leftists and the capitalists know how it works now and it’s pretty much just the journalists screwing it all up.

October 8, 2008

Hey Look Who's Going to Ride Out The Whole Global Money Thingy Better Than You:

ohsit.pngReuters offers more evidence that God just doesn't like George W. Bush much:

"Venezuela has suffered little direct effect from the market chaos because Chavez nationalized the most important companies that once traded on the minuscule Caracas stock exchange and because its currency is fixed by exchange."
Ha ha. Anyway Otto's got more on Venezuela & oil prices.

May 27, 2009

Venezuelan Oil Numbers: Reality Has a Well-Know Liberal Bias

mathdoesntsuck.jpgYou know how Venezuela's oil industry has been "on the border of collapse" due to "corruption and inefficiency" for the last ten years, even though the economy just kept growing like crazy? And how anti-poverty programs "chavista thieving" had so "squeezed" the oil sector that state petroleum company, PDVSA, had actually been "going down the drain" but we were all kept from the TRUTH because of a freak oil boom and black-people voodo, and how the government's frequent "denials" were just a tragic cover-up of the real truth: PDVSA was, for reals, a "starving giant"?

Heh. Somebody finally decided to do an actual, whatsitcalled, "study" on all this, using empirical data from some fancyland college course. They discovered that the Venezuelans have been telling the truth all along, but that the English language press had been only too happy to "deliberately underestimate Venezuela's oil production numbers." Shocking, I know.

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