Skip to comments.Venezuela’s Refinery Explosion: Has Chávez Made Petroleum Too Political?
Posted on 08/29/2012 1:10:30 PM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
When I visited Venezuelas Paraguaná oil refinery complex, the worlds second largest, in 2007, anxieties seemed to flare like its burn-off pipes. Employees warned of the plants precarious state; a major equipment upgrade was a year behind schedule and the refineries were operating well below capacity. Paraguaná isnt living up to its original design, one supervisor told me, because the state-run oil monopoly, Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) doesnt want to cover the costs.
Critics called the refineries, on Venezuelas western Paraguaná Peninsula, an example of how PDVSA was failing to make meaningful investments under Venezuelas left-wing President Hugo Chávez, even as he ladled more and more of the companys revenues (which were $128 billion in 2011) into social projects. Paraguaná was also a safety concern. A year before, three workers had been killed in accidents, part of a string of mishaps during the 2000s, many of them fatal.
Shortly after midnight last Saturday, Aug. 25, a massive gas leak explosion and fire killed 48 people near Paraguanás Amuay refinery, with others still missing. It was the worst refinery disaster in the history of Venezuela, which has the western hemispheres largest crude reserves, and one of the worlds worst in decades. Chávez and PDVSA again face criticism about their investment in and maintenance of Venezuelas crucial oil industry but this time the socialist Chávez, who has ruled for 13 years, also faces re-election in six weeks, and hes up against his first serious opposition candidate. Venezuelans know how dangerous oil work can be, but last weekends ghastly death toll revives the heated debate about whether Chávez has used PDVSA less as an economic development engine and more as a political patronage trough.
(Excerpt) Read more at world.time.com ...
The governor of the state of Carabobo,Henrique Salas Feo, said that a great part of the problems of scarcity and cost of living increases in Venezuela could be attributed to the corruption of people close to its government and Cubas inefficiency managing the facilities at Puerto Cabello.
Puerto Cabello is the entry gate to Venezuela;it handles 80percent of everything that enters or leaves the country, but since the Cubans took over, things are getting worse by the day, which is affecting Venezuelans daily life, Salas said in a telephone interview with El Nuevo Herald.
The economic reality of all Venezuelans depends on the good management of the port,but imported goods are incurring in enormous delays that create scarcity and increase costs that end up transferred to the consumer,..
According to the governors estimates, poor port management and corruption are provoking a 30-day delay in containers entering the country,which contrasts with the 72hours it took before Cubans took control.
The port terminal is of particular importance due to the severe deterioration of the Venezuelan productivity as a result of government policies, which has increased the dependence on imports, he said.
The situation created by expropriations, the strict currency exchange control and the system that controls pricing is leading Venezuela to go abroad to acquire basic consumer products.
The Chávez administration has also granted concessions to Cuban enterprises to acquire products abroad, a situation that lends itself to corruption.
[The Cubans] control everything that comes in and goes out......
....They are bleeding the country dry,.....
Viva la Revolucion!
Looks like the fool wasn’t feeding the golden goose, so to speak; he was simply harvesting the eggs.
Did this writer just wake up from a 20 year coma? What a political waif.
Chavez has made everything political, just like commie leftists usually do
Its not how much it shows on the books that you spent, its how much actually was spent where you said it was spent.
And, its not how much did you spent, but how much did you need to spend, that you failed to spend. If it costs $10 billion to keep up with maintenance and you spent $6 billion, you are headed for disaster. Or if you said you spent 6 and half of that went into the pockets of your allies or your own offshore accounts, you are headed for disaster.
Everyone connected with the oil industry there has seen that disaster is coming. They've pointed out the fact that they can't keep up production. That unqualified people have been elevated based on their political subservience rather than their technical competence.
I'm fortunate to know a fair number of people who can no longer work in Venezuela because they dared to sign their names in opposition to Chavez, and Venezuela's loss is our gain.
Venezuela's recovery begins when Chavez is in the ground and his allies behind bars. Venezuela has always been a socialist country, and PDVSA has always been robbed to pay for social programs and budget shortfalls. But it was also, always treated as the crown jewel of the country and not stripped as shamelessly as it has been under this band of thieves.