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Cable sobre los problemas de la industria petrolera venezolana

En 2010, la embajada en Caracas informan de que fuentes de la petrolera estatal señalan cómo la compañía no está cumpliendo sus planes de inversión y de exploración y cómo las cifras oficiales no se corresponden con las reales.

ID: 242671
Date: 2010-01-06 19:35:00
Origin: 10CARACAS9
Source: Embassy Caracas
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Dunno: 07CARACAS2013 07CARACAS2346 08CARACAS1690 08CARACAS276 08CARACAS473 10CARACAS1017 10CARACAS104 10CARACAS1055 10CARACAS1056 10CARACAS1057 10CARACAS106 10CARACAS1116 10CARACAS1130 10CARACAS1131 10CARACAS1208 10CARACAS1236 10CARACAS1246 10CARACAS1326 10CARACAS1333 10CARACAS1338 10CARACAS1352 10CARACAS136 10CARACAS1361 10CARACAS1383 10CARACAS1465 10CARACAS149 10CARACAS214 10CARACAS282 10CARACAS288 10CARACAS354 10CARACAS362 10CARACAS369 10CARACAS428 10CARACAS440 10CARACAS495 10CARACAS545 10CARACAS548 10CARACAS581 10CARACAS644 10CARACAS707 10CARACAS725 10CARACAS748 10CARACAS817 10CARACAS827 10CARACAS828 10CARACAS853 10CARACAS854
Destination: VZCZCXRO1950
RR RUEHAO RUEHCD RUEHGD RUEHHO RUEHMC RUEHNG RUEHNL RUEHRD RUEHRS
RUEHTM
DE RUEHCV #0009/01 0061935
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 061935Z JAN 10 ZFF3
FM AMEMBASSY CARACAS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0229
INFO OPEC COLLECTIVE
WESTERN HEMISPHERIC AFFAIRS DIPL POSTS
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 CARACAS 000009

SIPDIS
ENERGY FOR ALOCKWOOD AND LEINSTEIN, DOE/EIA FOR MCLINE
HQ SOUTHCOM ALSO FOR POLAD
TREASURY FOR MKACZMAREK
COMMERCE FOR 4332/MAC/WH/JLAO
NSC FOR DRESTREPO AND LROSSELLO
OPIC FOR BSIMONEN-MORENO
AMEMBASSY BRIDGETOWN PASS TO AMEMBASSY GRENADA
AMEMBASSY OTTAWA PASS TO AMCONSUL QUEBEC
AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PASS TO AMCONSUL RECIFE

E.O. 12958: DECL: 2020/01/06
TAGS: EPET, EINV, ENRG, ECON, VE
SUBJECT: VENEZUELA: OIL SECTOR STATUS AND FORECAST

CLASSIFIED BY: Darnall Steuart, Economic Counselor, DOS, Econ;
REASON: 1.4(B), (D)

1. (C) SUMMARY: 2009 has been turbulent for Venezuela's national
oil company PDVSA. It continues to maintain debt to service
companies in excess of $8 billion and issued over $6 billion in new
bonds in 2009. Contrary to publically stated plans to invest $17
billion for the year, it invested less than $5 billion in the first
half of 2009. With OPEC pegging Venezuela's current production at
2.35 million barrels per day (mbd), down 5.5% from 2008, plus a
lack of investment, drilling, and maintenance activity, it is hard
to envision a scenario where Venezuela maintains or increases crude
oil production in 2010. It appears increasingly likely that the
impact of service company nationalizations, maintenance failures,
decreased activity levels, and on-going labor problems will result
in further crude oil production erosion. END SUMMARY.



Production Estimates

2. (C) OPEC's December 2009 "Monthly Oil Market Report" listed
Venezuela's 2008 production average at 2.487 mbd. Notwithstanding
official GBRV and PDVSA production statistics claiming over 3 mbd
of crude oil production, in the run up to its December 2009
meeting, OPEC estimated Venezuela's 2009 production at 2.35 mbd, or
a decrease of 137,000 b/d or roughly 5.5%. In the absence of
investment, Venezuela's natural crude production declination rate
averages 20%. Thus, we assess that PDVSA, through 2009 investments
and new production, possibly offset 15% of Venezuela's natural
production losses. However, the effects of the May 2009 service
sector nationalizations and low investment levels are still
unfolding and could become more apparent in 2010. Assuming PDVSA
looses 6% of its production in 2010, Venezuela's crude oil
production could drop to 2.144 mbd by the end of 2010. According
to DOE/EIA statistics, Venezuelan production surpassed this level
in 1990. New production from the Faja, the focus of PDVSA's
efforts, is not expected to reach the market for several years.



3. (C) If Venezuela were to fully implement OPEC's December 2008
production allocation cuts of 340,000 b/d, it would produce only
2.01 mbd. During 2009, PDVSA said publicly that it had taken
OPEC-related production cuts ranging from 186,000 b/d to 364,000
b/d. International oil company representatives have confirmed over
the last year that at a minimum, PDVSA ordered 120,000 b/d restored
out of the 189,000 b/d it said it had cut in January 2009. While
PDVSA might substitute this restored production with cuts from its
own fields (those it operates 100%, without international
partners), no one believes this to be the case. [NOTE: Per
reftels, Petromonagas' 90,000 b/d cut came back on line in July
(BP) while PetroBoscan's 30,000 b/d cut was restored in April
(Chevron). END NOTE.]



XXXXXXXXXXXXX

4. XXXXXXXXXXXXX



5. (C) Wood Group, Exterran, Tidewater, and Williams officials
confirmed to EmbOffs that their legal cases seeking international
arbitration are prepared and ready to be filed by counsel. They
continue, however, to seek to negotiate compensation for their
nationalized assets in the hopes of not shutting themselves out of
future operations in Venezuela. According to industry sources, as
of year's end, PDVSA has not compensated any of the 76 oil sector
service companies nationalized in May 2009 and none are now engaged
in active negotiation on a compensation package with PDVSA.



Production Problems

6. XXXXXXXXXXXXX



Activity Levels

7. (C) PDVSA's 2009 budget reflected $17.091 billion in planned
investment, but according to a report covering the first six months
of 2009, it spent $4.895 billion. Assuming it maintained that
level of investment in the second half of 2009, final investment
figures will not exceed $10 billion, over $7 billion short of its
planned investment level. [NOTE: As the service company
expropriations occurred in the first half of 2009, most service
companies did not aggressively adopt a 'go slow' approach to
working with PDVSA until the first half of the year was nearly
over. It would be optimistic to assume that PDVSA maintained this
level of investment as evidenced by a lack of solicitation requests
in the second half of the year. END NOTE.] PDVSA reported 2008
exploration and production investment of $15.314 billion.
Preliminary 2010 budget figures reflect planned investment of
$23.151 billion.



8. (C) By all accounts, however, PDVSA activity levels are down.
According to XXXXXXXXXXXXX, there has been no increase in
activity levels in the last half of the year. He claimed 2009 had
the lowest activity levels he had seen in the last 25 years. XXXXXXXXXXXXX
noted that since PDVSA has to follow the Public Law on Bidding and

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Contracting, any increase in activity levels in the oil fields
would need to be prefaced by an increase in solicitations issued by
PDVSA and new contracts awarded, none of which has happened.



9. (C) PDVSA claims there are nearly 150 active drilling rigs in
Venezuela, while XXXXXXXXXXXXX and OPEC believe
the number is below 60. OPEC's December 2009 "Monthly Oil Market
Report" (MOMR) indicated that Venezuela had 55 drilling rigs in
2004, 68 in 2005, 81 in 2006, 76 in 2007, 80 in 2008, and 55 in
2009. XXXXXXXXXXXXX noted that XXXXXXXXXXXXX rig count reports only
"active" rigs, which means normal drilling activities (not
maintenance rigs or work over operations). He agreed with PDVSA's
statement that there are 149 rigs in Venezuela - 116 drill rigs and
33 work over rigs. However, 25% of the rigs located in Venezuela
were disassembled ("stacked"), 40% were not working due to a lack
of payments or contractual issues with the service company, leaving
35% involved in normal drilling activities.



10. XXXXXXXXXXXXX



11. (C) COMMENT: Post maintains its assessment that Venezuela's
decreasing production will eventually force the GBRV to make hard
economic choices. A decade of lost investment and production has
put a premium on developing new fields. A handful of new and
highly publicized international arbitration cases may be filed
against the GBRV in 2010, which may further polarize the
environment for investment in the sector. If the peaking of oil
prices and their subsequent crash in 2008 set the stage for the
events of 2009, 2009 provided a clear indication as to the future
direction of PDVSA under current leadership. Planned municipal and
National Assembly elections in 2010 are sure to divert attention
from oil production to campaigning as senior PDVSA and Energy
Ministry representatives' responsibilities are shifted to
politicking. President Chavez will react when he can no longer
ignore the problems in the oil sector and work to shift blame away
from his leadership (perhaps calling into question Rafael Ramirez's
political future).



12. (C) The danger of a Venezuelan economic model predicated on
ever-rising oil prices is clear: should oil prices stabilize or
fall (as they have), at some point, the BRV would be forced to stop
the growth in imports and government spending, and the economy
would begin to contract further. As Post has consistently
suggested, this economic model is unsustainable absent high oil
prices and could lead to an economic crisis such as a significant
devaluation and/or recession in a timeframe largely driven by oil
prices. Venezuela is already in recession with current estimates
predicting continued recession or anemic growth in 2010. END
COMMENT.



13. (SBU) For more background on topics mentioned above, please see

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the following cables:

Production and OPEC cuts - Caracas 106, Caracas 369, Caracas 1055,
Caracas 1056, Caracas 1057, Caracas 1130;

Payments to service companies - Caracas 136, Caracas 214, Caracas
239, Caracas 288, Caracas 362, Caracas 428, Caracas 440, Caracas
541, Caracas 545, Caracas 548, Caracas 827, Caracas 854, Caracas
1129;

PDVSA's financial situation - Caracas 1246, Caracas 748, Caracas
564, Caracas 282, 2008 Caracas 276, 2007 Caracas 2346;

Faja development - Caracas 149, Caracas 495, Caracas 1236, Caracas
1240, Caracas 1326, Caracas 1333, Caracas 1352, Caracas 1465;

Nationalizations inside and outside the oil sector - 2007 Caracas
1281, 2007 Caracas 2013, 2008 Caracas 1690, Caracas 581, Caracas
592, Caracas 644, Caracas 707, Caracas 725, Caracas 817, Caracas
891, Caracas 1116, Caracas 1338;

Natural Gas projects - Caracas 828, Caracas 853, Caracas 1017,
Caracas 1208, Caracas 1361, Caracas 1383;

Oil shifting to Asia - Caracas 104;

Domestic gasoline subsidy - Caracas 354;

Petrochemicals - Caracas 1131;

Mission creep in PDVSA - 2008 CARACAS 473.
DUDDY
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