Workers’ Paradise (PDVSA)

“The Offshore Division’s actions are an accelerated march toward the greatest possible sum of happiness for the people of Sucre state, and for the country.” Thus, Petroleos de Venezuela SA pats itself on the back for buying three new diesel/natural gas electricity generation plants for use on an offshore gas production platform. (No word on price, delivery date, or middlemen, naturally.)

Other recent news stories that may have less to do with “marching toward the greatest possible sum of happiness”:

June 10: PDVSA controls incident in PIGAP II: The high-pressure natural gas plant, expropriated from Williams Cos., used to pressurize oilfields had the beginnings of a fire, but it was put out.

June 6: Worker dies following incident in Casigua El Cubo: Mechanic died of burns suffered June 3 operating an oil well in Zulia.

May 9: PDVSA activates contingency plan for oil spill in Bare 8: 3-inch diluent pipeline ruptured.

May 9: PDVSA attends to product pipeline rupture in Potrerito: Road crew damages 8-inch pipeline. No human or environmental damage.

April 28: PDVSA informs about incident on Lake Maracaibo: Motorboat captain dies crashing into a natural gas installation.

April 19: Petropiar workers in stable condition after upgrader incident: Four workers sprinkled with caustic soda in accident at plant nationalized from Chevron Corp.

April 16: PDVSA investigates incident in Industrial Clinic: Pharmacy catches on fire, blaze spreads to whole clinic in Temblador.

April 14: PDVSA controls water eruption in injection well in San Tome: Six hours of rain causes injection well to flow back up, bringing a mix of 98% water, 2% crude oil to the surface, flowing into a creek.

April 1: Operational incident in Petrocedeño joint venture contained: Explosion in plant nationalized from Statoil and Total kills one worker and injures three.

March 10: Partial refinery outage solved at Cardón: No human or environmental damage.

March 3: Operational contingency at Jose monobuoy contained: Ship doing manoeuvres causes automatic de-coupling of a hose that fills a tanker with oil, after a 16″ line snapped. Staff monitoring for any oil in the Caribbean. This statement seems to contradict earlier statement, “PDVSA assures complete normalcy in Jose.” Unless parted lines and disengaged crude oil hoses are normal.

Feb. 28: In record time, PDVSA controls crude leak caused by sabotage: An investigation will determine the cause of the spill. Even though we’ve already decided it was sabotage.

All February: The big spill in Maturin, mentioned earlier on these pages.

Jan. 17: PDVSA Eastern Executive Directorate attends to incident in Travi 5 well: Explosion in drilling rig Corpoven 15 after well was closed for a week to monitor pressure. Oil flowed into a “recovery well” to minimize environmental damage.

And finally, the cat cracker at El Palito was taken out of service for 5 days on Jan. 3, and finally restored to service Jan. 18 (5 days, 15 days, whatever); it is now out of service again for a 20-day repair starting June 4.

To look at this, you wouldn’t know this company had billions of dollars in profits and billions more in cash from bond issuances.

One thing that’s hard to know is whether the company is really falling apart faster this year (bad news) or whether it’s just being more transparent (which would be good news). I wrote the communications office to ask and nobody replied.

3 thoughts on “Workers’ Paradise (PDVSA)

  1. Kepler

    They didn’t reply because they are becoming even more efficient.
    Stupid question: where do oil workers in Norway’s oil platforms get their energy from? I just wonder…

  2. Steve

    It’s interesting that PDVSA mentions the generators on the platform. The generators are relatively small, just to cover the operation of equipment on the platform, the safety systems, living quarters and some process equipment. They will not be required to pump anything to shore (it’s a gas field). What’s even more interesting is how much the rest of the platform will cost (hint: hundreds of millions of $$).

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