Pdvsa to meet 12% of early production goal at Orinoco oil belt
The Venezuelan oil minister expressed state-owned oil company Pdvsa's full political support to Executive Vice-President Nicolás Maduro
New projects on heavy and extra-heavy oil production at the Orinoco oil belt will yield much less output than expected early in 2012.
Venezuela's Minister of Petroleum and Mining Rafael Ramírez said on Monday that early production in new projects at the Orinoco oil belt "will account for some 20,000 barrels per day" by the end of 2012.
The figure is noticeably lower than the first output goal announced early in 2012, which was estimated at 160,000-180,000 bpd. Thus, only 12% will be met.
Ramírez explained that the projects have faced "fundamental problems related to infrastructure development" as it has been quite difficult to transport oil to the upgraders located in Anzoátegui state, northeast Venezuela. He added that oil transport has been made via vacuum trucks, with a capacity of 400 barrels. However, there have been some "restrictions with oil pipelines."
Ramírez took the opportunity to read out a statement issued by workers of the oil industry in support of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. "(We express) our political support to Nicolás Maduro, our vice-president, in view of all the tasks he was given by President Chávez. And the Bolivarian people shall be confident that (state-run oil company) Pdvsa will always bring forward unity and cohesion for our people." Further, Ramírez said, "Workers at the oil industry are highly politicized and they are nothing but the bastion of the Bolivarian revolution."
Translated by Jhean Cabrera
President Nicolás Maduro is not only the heir to the throne, but also to an economic crisis which demanded urgent measures to rectify the course. The crisis showed up in two aspects: a 50% inflation estimate, and shortage of staples ranging between 70% and 98%. These issues might hit the President's poor popularity; considering his feeble electoral victory of 1% over his challenger.