In political storm, Venezuela state-run oil company PDVSA drifts further

9 Aug 2017   Venezuela

To survive months of street protests and an economy in tailspin, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is trying to turn state oil company PDVSA into a bastion of support, further degrading an already vulnerable enterprise. Political appointees are gaining clout at the expense of veteran oil executives, while employees are under mounting pressure to attend government rallies and vote for the ruling Socialists. The increasing focus on politics over performance is contributing to a rapid deterioration of Venezuela’s oil industry, home to the world’s largest crude reserves, and to a brain drain at the once world-class company. Interviews with two dozen current and former employees, foreign oil executives, and contractors point to a PDVSA coming apart at the seams. “Everything is a disaster and yet we have to clap,” said a PDVSA employee, who asked to remain anonymous because she feared retaliation. After four months of deadly […]

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