Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA is known for overpaying for some of its purchases, for two reasons. One is that many companies are sick of dealing with PDVSA’s late payments, and prefer to now deal with middlemen. The other reason is that PDVSA workers like to overpay if they can in turn receive kickbacks. It’s win-win for buyer and seller, with the only one being screwed the Venezuelan public. El pueblo, as it known locally.
Today, Gustavo Coronel posts a masterful deconstruction of the apparent overpayment for the Aban Pearl, a semisubmersible offshore drilling platform that PDVSA rented in 2008. The nice thing about investigating drilling contracts is that the machinery is so expensive that it is conventional for the owner of the equipment to disclose the day rate, or daily rental price. In the case of Coronel’s investigation, the price that PDVSA said it was paying was much higher than the price that the ship’s owners said they were getting. Money was disappearing somewhere along the way. He has been looking into it for years, and his results are very interesting. Continue reading →
One fun thing I like to do is watch when web pages are changed or removed. As I look into possibly untoward behaviour in the oil industry, I keep coming across situations where information disappears from the Internet. I give you three recent examples. Each one is minor, and I don’t want to speculate on people’s motives. I have no problem with privacy. I just don’t like memory holes, where information of public value was public and then disappears. So I am preserving and pointing out a few tidbits. Continue reading →
I recognise Francisco Javier González and Glenbert Croes. Who else is in this picture? Any information will be helpful.
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UPDATING: Thanks to Otto, the Devil, Boz, and my sister for pointing out the name tags on the table and/or the names in the video. The problem is that Abraham Reek and Martino Schiera, for example, have so little Internet paper trail that I am unsure if they are using their real names. I’m hoping that people who know these folks will come forward.
This is the way Fly Aruba ends, not with a bang but a roar down the jetway.
Thanks again to readers JS and T for keeping me updated on this. Look up the history of this plane and others at FlightAware.
UPDATING: it looks like the flight plan was filed a day early. The plane will go to Brownsville today, according to a newly filed flight plan.
Responding to the comment that “why” is the important issue here, all I can say is yes, of course. But the real “why” may never be known. Starting an airline is an odd thing to do with one’s money. I am starting to think it’s an apt coincidence that Arevenca is in the old Stanford Bank offices in Oranjestad.
PDVSA’s annual financial statements don’t appear to mention the company pension fund’s loss of $480-odd million to a US-based Ponzi scheme. I hope someday that such a loss will be an immaterial issue for my accounts.