Saturday, March 22, 2008

PDVSA troubles

I've posted other articles here indicating that PDVSA, Venezuela's national oil company, is in dire straights. They aren't producing their daily quota under OPEC, and their coffers are being appropriated by Chavez for his socialist agenda.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram has a good article giving further detail on how badly things are going for PDVSA.

The article mentions the affect of the massive layoff imposed on PDVSA by Chavez after the huelga that shut down the oil fields for quite some time. What the article doesn't really go into is the affect that the forced nationalization has had on the oil industry. Those foreign companies, such as ExxonMobil and TexacoChevron, were investing heavily in the oil fields themselves, and keeping them producing. (The crux of the ExxonMobil lawsuits have been that Venezuela hasn't compensated them adequately for the billions of dollars they put into the oil fields in Venezuela.)

Chavez mistake was to nationalize the oil industry, at the point of a gun, and scare away foreign investment in the oil fields. He could have had his cake and eaten it too, simply by taking the increased profits (from assumed increased output) and invested them in his social programs.

Instead, in an effort to whip up public support against GW and the Empire, he took back the oil fields for himself. Yeah, greed had something to do with it - why share the profits when you can have them all for yourself? But I think Chavez thinks with his political ego than with his practical brain. (Doesn't take a genius to see that.) I would bet, looking back with hindsight, he sees now that he did a really stupid thing. Of course, he'd never admit it - just blame the US for everything.

The fuel for Chavez' 21st century socialism is quickly burning up, and he's the one who lit the match.

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