This is part of a series of re-published articles from The Daily Journal.
Former manager reports field damage
A former manager of state-run Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) said on Tuesday that it was "probable" that oil fields north of Monagas were permanently damaged, reported Union Radio.
Maurilio Gonzalez, who managed operating agreements with foreign companies in Western Venezuela, estimated that the damage would cause a loss of approximately 10 billion barrels of oil "if the monitoring of the oil fields is not carried out like it should and if the injection of gas does not meet the levels that the oil fields demand."
Gonzalez rejected statements made by Energy and Petroleum minister Rafael Ramirez that foreign oil companies are at least partly responsible for an decrease in oil production.
"These are very serious multinational companies, some of the most important petroleum companies in the world," said Gonzalez. "During our administration they demonstrated total transparency in the management of their affairs and brought new technology that we had not applied."
"These companies account for 1.2 million barrels throughout the country, so it would seem that there is a double discourse and a hostile position towards professionals of high quality," he said. "We don't understand the double discourse."
The former manager also said that current figures on PDVSA production suggest that money generated by the industry is missing. Gonzalez said that 63 percent of the oil industry's 2004 profits are unaccounted for, and that "it is known that it is not being invested in the industry."
JENS ERIK GOULD
Jens Erik Gould is a political, business and entertainment writer and editor who has reported from a dozen countries for media outlets including The New York Times, National Public Radio and Bloomberg News.