PDVSA to become regional government?

I’m still traveling, and will be for another 10 days, so continued light posting expected. And that’s my excuse for the delay on this one, too.

It’s a long-running, unfunny joke in Venezuela that nobody knows whether the government runs PDVSA or vice versa. The lines have blurred steadily more in recent years, as PDVSA took on such diverse tasks as controlling all transportation on Lake Maracaibo, growing soybeans and sugarcane and building an oil rig factory. Now, Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez may be planning to expand into direct governance of territory.

In an interview published yesterday in Panorama, the Maracaibo daily, Ramirez said:

—Hay versiones de prensa que indican que la Costa Oriental del Lago se empobreció. ¡Mira estos números! Nosotros tenemos acá 59 mil trabajadores: 32 mil trabajadores directos y 27 mil de las empresas contratistas. Tenemos una inversión de 25.200 millones de bolívares, eso son 25, 2 billones de los viejos, tenemos una producción de 900 mil barriles al día de petróleo, tenemos una actividad permanente. No sé de dónde vienen esas matrices.

No vamos a ir contra otros prestadores de servicios. Nos vamos a atener a lo que dice la ley. El resto de las actividades no nos interesan.

Pero ahora que tenemos el control y garantizamos la operatividad de nuestras instalaciones, venimos a una replanificación de la Costa Oriental del Lago.

La Costa Oriental del Lago era un desastre, no estaba diseñada en función de una visión en conjunto sino que cada empresa tenía su propia visión, entonces estamos preparando la creación de una zona especial, de un complejo industrial petrolero en la Costa Oriental, que nos va a permitir hacer importantes inversiones en el área de fabricación, reparación e instalaciones industriales para darle servicio a la industria.

—¿Esta zona especial estará regentada por Pdvsa?

—¡Claro! Se trata de que hagamos una zona que esté unificada y que nos permita actuar de manera concentrada en un rediseño de la misma y ampliar sus capacidades, porque teníamos una cantidad de instalaciones y muelles en muy mal estado que ahora estamos recuperando, y una capacidad industrial ociosa muy grande, debido a que cada empresario atendía la parte del negocio que le interesaba.

Vamos a hacer una optimización de esos espacios y vamos a utilizar al máximo el gran potencial de la Costa Oriental. Toda la COL se va a ver impactada por la creación de esta zona. Recuerda también que el presidente Chávez se ha propuesto, en los distrito motores de desarrollo, una zona especial para la Costa Oriental, es decir, que le vamos a entrar por dos frentes: uno por el área netamente petrolera, y el otro por el área de desarrollo integral.

That is to say something like:

There are press accounts saying that the west [uff. corrected throughout.] east coast of Lake Maracaibo is getting poorer. Look at these numbers. We have here 59,000 workers, 32,000 direct employees and 27,000 in contractors. We have an investment of 25.2 billion bolivars, that’s 25.2 trillion old bolivars, we have a production of 900,000 barrels a day of oil, we have a permanent presence. I don’t know where these ideas come from.

We’re not going after other service providers. We’re going to attend to what the law says. The rest of the [non-maritime] activities don’t interest us.

But now that we have control and guarantee the operability of our installations, we arrive at a re-planning of the east coast of the lake.

The east coast of the lake was a disaster area. It wasn’t designed with a unified vision but rather each business had its own vision, and so we’re preparing the creation of a special zone, with an oil-industry complex in the east coast, that will allow us to make key investments in the areas of industrial fabrication, repair and installation to serve the industry.

Panorama: And this special zone will be run by PDVSA?

Ramirez: Of course! It will be attempted that we have a region that’s unified and that allows us to act in a concentrated way in its redesign and to expand its capabilities, because we had a number of installations and piers in very bad shape that are now reclaimed, and a very big unused industrial capacity, due to each businessman attending to the part of the business that interested him.

We’re going to do an optimization of these spaces and we’re going to maximize the use of the great potential of the east coast of the lake. The whole region will be impacted by the creation of this zone. Recall as well that it was proposed by President Chavez that in the local engines of development, a special zone for the east coast, that is to say that we are going to enter it from two fronts: one for the fundamentally oil region and one for the integrated development region.

The east coast of the lake, which Ramirez is referring to, is in the state of Zulia, where the governorship is in the hands of an opponent of President Chavez.

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4 thoughts on “PDVSA to become regional government?

  1. sapitosetty Post author

    In Anzoategui. I haven’t been there myself but I know an engineer who works there. It’s for real. Just doing assembly work for a while but will do manufacturing in a couple years, according to the plan.

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