We love the Google alerts. A have been laying off the blerg lately, but these both showed up at once and I couldn’t resist.
The owners of the oil tanker Minerva Ellie sued Venezuela’s state oil company PDVSA in US court last month for alleged nonpayment of $2.15 million in freight, waiting time (demurrage) of almost $54,000 and “Turkish Straits Expenses” of almost $66,000. This would appear to be a shipment to Belarus, as Venezuela doesn’t usually send oil through there on its way to Houston.
Unrelatedly, PDVSA is buying 17 land drilling rigs from Honghua Group Ltd. for $240 million, according to a filing with Hong Kong regulators. Remember how China offered credit for purchases in yuan? I’m guessing this is one of those. Feel free to check — I’m busy reading about copper.
Also, this. I haven’t taken the time to read the whole Wikileaks file on my areas of interest, but what I’ve seen is mostly more amusing than scandalous. Like this. Wes Lohec, the usually very circumspect head of Chevron operations in Latin America, is quoted:
Lohec underlined that the [Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela] needs Chevron’s expertise because it “is headed down a path that is disastrous for them.”
It’s not the sort of thing that will get anyone killed, but it’s probably not what Chevron wants to say directly to the Venezuelans, either. I think the word is “awkward.”
There are some more interesting items in there. Adrienne Pine points to a cable here that shows US suspicions that one of Honduras’s most powerful men may have been involved in cocaine smuggling. That’s a bit more than awkward.