Paralysis at PDVSA: Venezuela’s oil purge cripples company

16 Dec 2017   Venezuela

 Decisions at some joint ventures with foreign firms are delayed. A growing number of oil tankers sit idle because no one authorizes payments. Employees struggle to get approval for routine expenses, from taxis to training. An alleged crackdown on graft in Venezuela, seen by critics as an effort by President Nicolas Maduro to consolidate power, has sown panic across the country’s energy industry and all but paralyzed state-run Petroleos de Venezuela SA, or PDVSA, according to people at the company and across the sector. The ongoing purge, in which prosecutors have arrested at least 67 executives including two recently ousted oil ministers, now threatens to further harm operations for the OPEC country, which is already producing at near 30-year-lows and struggling to run PDVSA units including Citgo Petroleum, its U.S. refiner. Further trouble for the all-important industry could cause yet more economic chaos in the once-prosperous […]

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