*State-run oil company Petróleos de Venezuela (Pdvsa)
is facing gradual dismantling, which has led to a decline
in output and productivity rates compared to past performance,
Monday, May 16 said oil expert José Toro Hardy.
*Toro Hardy remembered that when firing more than 18,000
oil workers in 2003, Pdvsa managers discarded more than 300,000
years of experience and knowledge that are currently required
in the country's major industry.
*Such a move was a retaliation following a two-month strike
by oil workers. Now, it is normal that Pdvsa "goes through
such a serious crisis," he said.
*He added that Pdvsa oil output has dropped by some 700,000
*The Comptrollership is entitled to monitor state oil company
Petróleos de Venezuela (Pdvsa), but "due to a longstanding
culture, it was thought that the company was beyond the public
control," Venezuelan Comptroller General Clodosvaldo Russián
*"Pdvsa belongs to all Venezuelans and is subject to the
fiscal control of the Venezuelan Comptroller General."
*The senior official stressed that as soon as he took over,
he worked on the assessment of the oil business. "There was
an office of the Venezuelan Comptroller General at Pdvsa,
but it was taken to the Comptrollership headquarters as monitoring
could be conducted without the need of being there," he explained.
*Russián met with Vice-President José Vicente Rangel
in order to discuss the final stage of the Law on the Comptroller
General Office and the National Tax System Control.
*According to Russian, once reviewed, the instrument could
be ready for endorsement in four-week time.
*A report submitted to the National Assembly (AN) Comptrollership
Committee by former attorneys of the western division of state
oil company Petróleos de Venezuela (Pdvsa) shows that
the holding is far from unburden the judicial, administrative
and tax caseload following the 2003 strike.
*According to the report covering December 2004 to February
2005 and delivered last March by ex coordinator of Legal Affairs
Juan Carlos Delgado, at the end of February Pdvsa Western
Division faced 7,748 judicial, administrative and tax proceedings,
6,762 of which involve trials related to 20,000 employees
who were fired during the 2002-2003 nationwide strike.
*As of February, there were 122 trials pending at Labor Inspector's
Offices, Judicial Circuit, western Zulia state, 294 regular
trials and 270 criminal proceedings before Zulia Criminal
Judicial Circuit and at the local Attorney General Office.
*Delgado noted that out of the total number of trials for
dismissal status that has been heard, only 447, or 6.6 percent,
favored Pdvsa, in addition to 96 ordinary trials acquired
and 48 criminal proceedings.
*It was known that at the present time over 90 complaints
have been filed against Pdvsa nationwide. Even a public prosecutor
has been appointed to discover evidence of alleged wrongdoing
in Citgo, a Pdvsa subsidiary based in the United States, following
an investigation conducted by a AN Comptrollership Subcommittee
headed by government deputy Jesús García Rojas (MVR).
*Most of the trials pending at Pdvsa Western division -3,792-
come from senior staff.
*The instruction given by President Hugo Chávez to the
parties to operational agreements for payment in bolivars
was the cherry that decorates a cake with explosive ingredients
-income tax increase from 35 to 50 percent, review of tax
statements for the last four fiscal years, sale of revenues
to the Venezuelan Central Bank and compulsory migration to
joint venture with a major sharing of state oil company Petróleos
de Venezuela (Pdvsa) within six months.
*This is the status for most multinationals that work under
the 32 agreements executed by Pdvsa during the 1990's to lift
oil output in marginal fields.
*According to legal counsels, all of these steps render operational
agreements unprofitable as most investment was made in foreign
currency, and profits were calculated accordingly. The agreements
entered into with Pdvsa establish clearly that the operational
costs, principal and investment, should be repaid in US dollars.
*This is the only allegation that may be used by operating
companies to protect themselves. According to President Chávez'
instructions to Pdvsa, from now on, the holding should pay
the companies in local currency. So far, the amount pending
accounts for USD 3 billion a year, based on official figures.
*The companies claim a stake in the agreements executed after
the bidding and prepared by Pdvsa without the direct involvement
*In addition to mismatch between the US dollars that Pdvsa
should deliver to the Venezuelan Central Bank (BCV) and the
currency actually received, payment in local currency for
operational agreements would increase the flow that should
be declared by the holding to BCV.
*National Assembly (AN) president Nicolás Maduro Tuesday
ensured the lawmaking body will not allow Rafael Ramírez,
Energy and Petroleum Minister and president of state-owned
oil company Petróleos de Venezuela (Pdvsa), to be exposed
to any mass media show.
*His statements came at a meeting of the AN taskforce debating
a vote of no confidence opposition parliamentarians have requested
against Ramírez, news agency ABN reported.
*Maduro added that Ramírez' appearance before the Venezuelan
Parliament, which was originally set to take place in May,
was deferred. He will appear "at the right and suitable time
for the country," AN president said.
*Ramírez was scheduled to appear in parliament on Tuesday
to provide a rationale for Pdvsa performance, oil operational
agreements and a number of corruption claims within the oil
conglomerate, Maduro announced on May 11.
*Domestic energy policy is aimed at preserving resources
sovereignty, or control over foreign sharing and ensured payment
of royalties to the state, Ministry of Energy and Petroleum
Rafael Ramírez said Wednesday, May 18.
*According to Ramírez, since the nationalization of
the oil industry, there has been constant confrontation with
multinationals that try to control all energy resources.
*The government intends to defend non-renewable natural resources
by keeping fair prices in the global market. Until the oil
strike (in 2002-2003), senior managers of state oil company
Petróleos de Venezuela (Pdvsa) had been "captured by
*In his view, foreign control included reforms to oil-related
rules and regulations and oil opening.
*State oil company Petróleos de Venezuela (Pdvsa) has
delivered, in five-month term, 50 percent of the amount budgeted
*Based on treasury estimates, the oil business has delivered
USD 6 billion on account of royalties, income tax and dividends.
*This year quota included oil income for USD 12.1 billion,
income tax for USD 4.4 billion, and dividends for USD 1.3
billion. According to official sources, the company sped up
the delivery of the monies, and in five-month term half of
expected taxes was paid already. By the last quarter of 2005,
additional income is expected.
*Revenues have been favored by a hike in the Venezuelan oil
basket, USD 40/b in average, or USD 17 over a budgeted price
of USD 23/b.
*Due to early oil contributions and growing tax collection,
contribution by means of taxes exceeds USD 5.5 billion, almost
half of the 2005 budget accounting for USD 11.6 billion.
*Such increase sparked public expenditure set at USD 32.3
billion this year. Based on the treasury data, as of the first
quarter, 30 percent of the budget had been implemented.
*Major items include personnel expenses and the Special Social
Program for missions -50 and 40 percent of the budget, respectively.
There were also outlays for investment. Reports from financial
agencies note unprecedented growing expenditure as a result
of the different funding sources. In this regard, Pdvsa fiscal
and quasi-fiscal expenses may amount to 35 percent of GDP
ending this year, or more than USD 45 billion.
*Venezuelan Vice-President José Vicente Rangel announced
demonstrations in defense of state oil company Petróleos
de Venezuela (Pdvsa) beginning next week.
*"Some sectors target on Petróleos de Venezuela in an
attempt at undermining the cornerstone of Venezuelan economy,"
Rangel Thursday said after opening the sixth mobile cabinet
in Cumaná, the capital city of eastern Sucre state.
*In Rangel's view, a true debate on the issue of Pdvsa is
most important for some sectors to "deal with the matter in
a responsible, consistent, serious, unbiased way." However,
the senior official made reference to a policy intended to
remove democracy and good operations of national institutions.
*As stated by Rangel, some people still think that despite
all the support given to President Hugo Chávez, he may
*"These persons are quite away from reality, witch trainees
who do not understand how does Venezuela work. If they dare
to do anything, they will be defeated."
*Oil and Petroleum Minister Rafael Ramírez Friday said
the state-run oil company Petróleos de Venezuela (Pdvsa)
staff must "set Venezuela free from old agreements and deals
that endangered and tied the economic sovereignty of the country."
*Ramírez criticized "the highly publicized oil opening
implemented by the Fourth Republic and backed by former Pdvsa
managers. They were the same people who staged the oil strike
at the end of 2002."
*According to the high-ranking official, former Pdvsa management
executed a series of agreements with multinational companies.
"These deals were aimed at privatizing our (oil) industry
by means of outsourcing."
*US Ambassador William Brownfield ruled out Friday any link
of the United States with a drop in Venezuelan oil output.
*The US government "has no responsibility whatsoever for
falling output in (state oil company Petróleos de Venezuela)
Pdvsa or any other possibilities mentioned over the last few
days and weeks here in Venezuela," the ambassador said in
clear reference to the Venezuelan government accusations of
alleged plot by CIA officials.
*Despite ups and downs in bilateral relations, Brownfield
hoped that both Venezuela and the United States could work
together in anti-drug efforts and anti-terrorist efforts and
*"Lack of cooperation, termination of exchange or common
programs is a shame, because, all in all, ordinary citizens
pay for it, because they are the real victim of terrorism,
crime and illicit drug traffic," he noted.