The Cardon refinery, which belongs to the Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA, in July in Punto Fijo, Venezuela. Credit Carlos Jasso/Reuters
New York Times: Venezuela Crises Compound as Oil Industry Falls Into Disarray
EL FURRIAL, Venezuela — One oil rig was idle for weeks because a single piece of equipment was missing. Another was attacked by armed gangs who made off with all they could carry. Many oil workers say they are paid so little that they barely eat and have to keep watch over one another in case they faint while high up on the rigs.
Venezuela’s petroleum industry, whose vast revenues once fueled the country’s Socialist-inspired revolution, underwriting everything from housing to education, is spiraling into disarray.
To add insult to injury, the Venezuelan government has been forced to turn to its nemesis, the United States, for help.
“You call them the empire,” said Luis Centeno, a union leader for the oil workers, referring to what government officials call the United States, “and yet you’re buying their oil.”
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WNU Editor: I have a relative who runs an oil services company in Alberta, Canada. He and a few other Canadian oil service companies were asked a few years back by the Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA to provide services for them .... he went because what the Venezuelans were willing to spend made it interesting. He declined because he was too busy and too committed in Alberta to think of another market .... but other companies took the offer. Flashback to the present .... and as he told me this summer .... those Canadian companies that took the Venezuelan offer a few years back are still waiting to be paid. The end result of this theivery is obvious .... Venezuela is a country that is now blacklisted by almost every oil service country in the world .... and if you cannot have these professionals in your oil fields .... in a few years your rigs and your facilities will fall apart.
Update: This says it all on how screwed-up Venezuela oil industry has become .... Congratulations To Bolivarian Socialism - Venezuela Now Has To Import Oil From The US (Forbes).
Update: Just a small selection of news stories on what is happening in Venezuela ....
Venezuela state declares food emergency at schools (AFP)
Venezuelan football team left barefoot after robbery (BBC)
Venezuela beer prices triple due to 6,500% production cost increase (UPI)
Armed Gangs Are Taking Over Hospitals in Venezuela -- Panam Post