jueves, 14 de noviembre de 2013

The Venezuelan oil fraud: what is Chevron doing?


Coherence is requested

Two days ago the President of Petroleos de Venezuela, the state-owned oil company of Venezuela and also minister of Energy and Petroleum inaugurated, in Caracas, a conference on the Orinoco heavy oil deposits. For the last 15 years little or nothing has been done in this region, which holds enormous resources of very heavy oil. In order to be marketed this oil requires upgrading in expensive refining facilities, none of which have been built during the last 15 years. However, during the event above mentioned this person said that “by 2019, Venezuela would be producing 4 million barrels of oil from this area,  10,000 wells would be drilled and completed, six upgrading plants and two other refineries would be built, 100,000 new employees hired and $200 billion invested in the area”.

These are lies. This man deserves to go to prison for fraud. However, the CEO of Chevron, Mr. John S. Watson was there, validating with his presence these demagogic and fraudulent promises.

How can this be? Chevron is on the side of justice in Ecuador, fighting an international, gallant fight against attempts of extortion made by unprincipled U.S. and Ecuadorian lawyers supported by President Rafael Correa. It has been harassed in Argentina, including a brief freezing if its assets by the government. In both cases the perpetrators have been allies of the Venezuelan regime. And yet, in Venezuela, Mr. Watson, representing Chevron, shows up at an event which is insulting to the intelligence of decent Venezuelans.

I believe that oil companies, same as people, should have a soul and that having a soul is not only moral but also good business practice. To have a coherent corporate attitude should be, as Sherlock Holmes would say, elementary, my dear Watson.