PDVSA sued in US, buying Chinese oil rigs

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.

One thought on “PDVSA sued in US, buying Chinese oil rigs

  1. Kepler

    About the oil tanker: I was sure they were initially really transporting oil from Venezuela to Belarus. It was all in the Belorussian and Russian press and even they were adding something in the way of “to see if this is really feasible/check costs/etc”.

    A Belorussian friend, who like me is an ignorant on the oil industry but who hadn’t read those articles, told me: it can’t be, it has to be a swap arrangement…until I showed him the links.

    Initially Venezuelans really tried it not just once (carga de muestra) but several times to see if it could go through Odessa and from there on train to Belarus (back then it was Yulija in power in Ukraine and the pipelines were not for that). Even last year that was one of the issues Hugo talked about with the newly elected Ukranian Master Crook. They were also trying to see if the oil could go through Lithuania. Can you believe it? All the way through the North Sea and the Baltic Sea! How mental can someone be? Who gave the orders? At the end they settled up for what should be the only possibility, for the swap thing.

    When it comes to Venezuela you should never start with the premise an action is too foolish to be done and that there must a more sophisticated reason.

    This is what Venezuelan philosophers call Lex parsimoniae venezuelana or Pedro Pérez’s Machete: es que son brutos.

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