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CARACAS, Tuesday December 11, 2012 | Update
 
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OIL

Pdvsa to meet 12% of early production goal at Orinoco oil belt

The Venezuelan oil minister expressed state-owned oil company Pdvsa's full political support to Executive Vice-President Nicolás Maduro

Oil and Mining Minister Rafael Ramírez admitted that the oil industry is facing "infrastructure problems" to achieve early production goals at the Orinoco oil belt (File photo)
ERNESTO J. TOVAR |  EL UNIVERSAL
Tuesday December 11, 2012  02:52 PM

New projects on heavy and extra-heavy oil production at the Orinoco oil belt will yield much less output than expected early in 2012. 

Venezuela's Minister of Petroleum and Mining Rafael Ramírez said on Monday that early production in new projects at the Orinoco oil belt "will account for some 20,000 barrels per day" by the end of 2012.

The figure is noticeably lower than the first output goal announced early in 2012, which was estimated at 160,000-180,000 bpd. Thus, only 12% will be met.

Ramírez explained that the projects have faced "fundamental problems related to infrastructure development" as it has been quite difficult to transport oil to the upgraders located in Anzoátegui state, northeast Venezuela. He added that oil transport has been made via vacuum trucks, with a capacity of 400 barrels. However, there have been some "restrictions with oil pipelines."

Ramírez took the opportunity to read out a statement issued by workers of the oil industry in support of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. "(We express) our political support to Nicolás Maduro, our vice-president, in view of all the tasks he was given by President Chávez. And the Bolivarian people shall be confident that (state-run oil company) Pdvsa will always bring forward unity and cohesion for our people." Further, Ramírez said, "Workers at the oil industry are highly politicized and they are nothing but the bastion of the Bolivarian revolution."

etovar@eluniversal.com

Translated by Jhean Cabrera
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Gagging Twitter users

Pablo Jiménez Guaricuco was summarily dismissed from his Clerk III job at the Autonomous Service of Public Registries and Notaries' Offices (Saren). He read a notice published in a newspaper on November 5 informing the public that he was no longer employed to the Saren. He was sacked despite the fact that he was taking a leave of absence from work due to a work-related accident, and that he enjoyed security of employment under the parental job-immunity privilege. Most probably, the decision was influenced by his role as a union organizer. But what did he do, besides leading protests, to deserve the sack? Well, he allegedly sent off a series of tweets that definitely hurt the sensitivity of the Saren Directorate.

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