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By Robert Rapier on Sep 19, 2007 with no responses

More Fun in Venezuela

Here’s what can happen if you neglect to feed your cash cow:

Former Pdvsa CEO shows concern about production level

Luis Giusti, former CEO of Venezuelan state-run oil firm Pdvsa, said the statements made by the former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan about the Venezuelan oil industry confirm his view that Pdvsa oil production has collapsed.

“The industry is faced with a process of drastic deterioration. I wish people only thought what the collapse of Venezuelan production means. This is dramatic. Pdvsa has dropped 2 million bpd,” said Giusti.

He told local Unión Radio that it was “impossible” to accomplish Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez’ plans to take domestic oil output to 5 million bpd by 2011. According to Giusti, “with 130 operational rigs -which do not exist at the present time- and sustained investment of USD 6-7 billion production could be increased by some 200,000 bpd on a yearly basis.”

He added that such goals could be attained through well-structured efforts and in a Pdvsa that is “operational and efficient, but the present Pdvsa is a company seriously wounded that lacks capacity. You could take some 15-18 years to take output to 3.5 million bpd.”

Some will point out that such mismanagement may lengthen the lifetime of the reserves. True. Unfortunately for Chavez, that is not his intention. His intention is to greatly ramp up production. But he miscalculated the amount of capital it takes to produce oil, diverted that capital to social programs, and is now reaping what he has sown.