Skip to main content

The underground war between Venezuela and the US big oil cartel confirmed through WikiLeaks

The WIKILEAKS Public Library of US Diplomacy (PlusD) holds the world's largest searchable collection of United States confidential, or formerly confidential, diplomatic communications. As of April 8, 2013 it holds 2 million records comprising approximately 1 billion words. The collection covers US involvements in, and diplomatic or intelligence reporting on, every country on earth. It is the single most significant body of geopolitical material ever published. The PlusD collection, built and curated by WikiLeaks, is updated from a variety of sources, including leaks, documents released under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and documents released by the US State Department systematic declassification review.


A document under the title VENEZUELA: AMERICAN OIL AND SERVICE COMPANIES ENGAGE AMBASSADOR, from July, 2009, depicts the agony of the US oil corporations to stay in Venezuela, as they had already lost control over country's rich reserves.

The summary is quite enlightening as gives the impression that the US companies were afraid that could be completely thrown out of the Venezuelan oil industry in the close future by then Chavez administration:

           Executives representing U.S. companies involved in Venezuela's oil sector briefed the Ambassador on the status of the industry, highlighting problems all face in securing payments from PDVSA[*]; difficulties maintaining positive relationships with PDVSA, the Ministry for Energy and Petroleum (MENPET), and the GBRV [Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela] in general; and the challenge of working in this environment. They extrapolated their experiences to all oil companies, including the politically expedient national oil companies, such as CNPC and PetroPars. All agreed that current working conditions in Venezuela, including the recent round of service company expropriations, would have a short to medium term impact on Venezuelan crude production. They also agreed that aside from current challenges, their long-term goal is to find a way to stay in Venezuela as the potential of its reserves outweighs short-term challenges.

There are also other interesting parts in the document, proving that the underground war between the Venezuelan government and the US big oil cartel, was reaching its highest levels. For example, it appears that the US corporations were acting also as 'strict inspectors' on the Venezuelan crude oil production and that the state-run oil company of Venezuela, was trying to escape from OPEC's tight scrutiny by trying to produce the quantities needed to relief the Venezuelan economy. As described characteristically, “industry participants have confirmed that PDVSA has quietly re-activated production from fields where production was curtailed.

Indeed, as described previously, the importance of Venezuela due to its oil reserves is also significant. When Maduro tried to approach Russia in order to strengthen the economic cooperation between the two countries, he must had set the alarm for the neocons in the US. Venezuela could find an alternative in Russia and BRICS, in order to breathe from the multiple economic war that was set off by the US. It is characteristic that the economic war against Russia by the US and the Saudis, by keeping the oil prices in historically low levels, had significant impact on the Venezuelan economy too.

Other key points from the document:

  • Carlos Tejera pointed out constitutional difficulties arising from the GBRV's oil service sector expropriations in May and June. He noted that in apparent contravention of the Venezuelan constitution and standing laws, the May 7 oil service sector law allows MENPET (1) to expropriate companies and assume control over operations prior to providing fair market compensation, (2) to pay for expropriated assets with instruments other than cash (e.g., PDVSA bonds/debt issuance), and (3) to pay book value rather than fair market value for seized assets. Finally, Tejera added that the May 7 law appears to be vague enough to be applicable to sectors other than hydrocarbons. Others, however, noted that the constitutionality of the law is irrelevant in the current Venezuelan legal environment. In fact, Halliburton,s Castenada added that he no longer believes Halliburton is too large for PDVSA to seize, but rather that some elements of its operations in Venezuela are now vulnerable.

  • The business representatives agreed that no one knows the real level of Venezuelan crude production but that it is not over 3 million barrels/day as claimed by the GBRV. PDVSA claims that it implemented fully the September 2008 and December 2009 OPEC quota cuts of over 300,000 barrels/day, but industry participants have confirmed that PDVSA has quietly re-activated production from fields where production was curtailed.

  • Chevron,s Ron Lubojacky added that PDVSA and MENPET need to understand that they are sending all the wrong messages to the private sector at a time when the GBRV is clearly trying to court new investment in the Carabobo heavy oil bid round. Tejera stated that the USG [United States Government] should not adopt a narrow strategy of defending particular companies in particular cases, because the GBRV cares little for the private sector. Rather, the USG should point out that the GBRV's actions have consequences and that its actions run counter to its stated goals. The representatives disagreed whether U.S. firms were specifically targeted, but agreed that other foreign oil companies (including politically expedient national oil companies, such as CNPC and PetroPars) confronted similar challenges. They also agreed that all companies in the sector are facing payments problems with PDVSA.

  • Chevron,s Ron Lubojacky added that PDVSA and MENPET need to understand that they are sending all the wrong messages to the private sector at a time when the GBRV is clearly trying to court new investment in the Carabobo heavy oil bid round. Tejera stated that the USG [United States Government] should not adopt a narrow strategy of defending particular companies in particular cases, because the GBRV cares little for the private sector. Rather, the USG should point out that the GBRV's actions have consequences and that its actions run counter to its stated goals. The representatives disagreed whether U.S. firms were specifically targeted, but agreed that other foreign oil companies (including politically expedient national oil companies, such as CNPC and PetroPars) confronted similar challenges. They also agreed that all companies in the sector are facing payments problems with PDVSA.

  • This was the first opportunity U.S. oil production and services companies have had to discuss the current situation since the Ambassador returned to post. They used this meeting to underscore the on-going difficulties of doing business in Venezuela and their long-term commitment to finding a business model that will permit them to stay to support Venezuela's exploitation of its abundant oil reserves. The companies understand that they need to align their economic interests with the stated political goals of the Chavez administration in order to survive here in the long-term. That said they hope the USG can convey to the GBRV that its actions will likely erode production levels and not just affect private sector profits. The GBRV's actions demonstrate its belief that the business community will continue to work in Venezuela under nearly any condition. The question remains how long companies will continue operating in this environment given on-going difficulties, all in the hope of future profits.

This is another evidence for the fact that the real target of current US threats and provocative actions against Venezuela, is to secure the oil fields for the US big oil cartel.

As already described:

The US real agenda concerning Venezuela is so obvious that there is no need for further investigation on the issue. But if you still want further proof that oil is the real game, here is another piece of evidence, provided by Miguel Tinker Salas, an expert on Latin America, who explained on RT why the US has held off on sanctioning crude oil:

           So far, the sanctions have been against refined Venezuelan oil products and against individuals in the Venezuelan government. They have not been for the importation of crude. And the fact that they are not including crude, speaks to that interdependence and the fact that US oil producers and exporters don't want to upend the market. And potentially, that 10% extraction of Venezuelan oil, could spike US gasoline prices as well.

It other words, the US hypocrites attempt to suffocate Venezuela, but only as much as needed to overthrow Maduro, without risking a boomerang effect against US oil market. It seems that we have a carefully arranged wave of sanctions on behalf of the US empire that aim to bring a right-wing puppet in power, and therefore, the achievement of the final target: re-capturing Venezuela's oil resources by the US big oil cartel.

* At the start of the 21st century, Venezuela was the world's fifth largest exporter of crude oil, with oil accounting for 85.3% of the country's exports, therefore dominating the country's economy. Previous administrations had sought to privatise this industry, with U.S. corporations having a significant level of control, but the Chávez administration wished to curb this foreign control over the country's natural resources by nationalising much of it under the state-run oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. (PdVSA). In 2001, the government introduced a new Hydrocarbons Law through which they sought to gain greater state control over the oil industry: they did this by raising royalty taxes on the oil companies and also by introducing the formation of "mixed companies", whereby the PdVSA could have joint control with private companies over industry. By 2006, all of the 32 operating agreements signed with private corporations during the 1990s had been converted from being primarily or solely corporate-run to being at least 51% controlled by PdVSA.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

WikiLeaks paper reveals Congressional think tank specific techniques for 'persuading' audiences

This document was obtained by WikiLeaks from the United States Congressional Research Service. The CRS is a Congressional "think tank" with a staff of around 700. Reports are commissioned by members of Congress on topics relevant to current political events. Despite CRS costs to the tax payer of over $100M a year, its electronic archives are, as a matter of policy, not made available to the public. Individual members of Congress will release specific CRS reports if they believe it to assist them politically, but CRS archives as a whole are firewalled from public access. This report was obtained by WikiLeaks staff from CRS computers accessible only from Congressional offices.
globinfo freexchange
A report from April 12, 2007, was "Prepared primarily for congressional staff members called upon to help prepare speeches for Members,” and “provides basic guidance on obtaining speech material, using it to prepare a speech draft, and presentation.”, as we read in the abstract. …

In another bizarre moment, CNN suffers from a real-journalism crisis and exposes the US war crimes in Yemen ... again!

It’s almost like watching The Twilight Zone!
globinfo freexchange
When the corporate media finally decided to dedicate some of their 'precious' time to focus on the war crimes in Yemen, we thought that it was just a smokescreen. The 'unexplained phenomenon' happened after the unimaginable war-crime in which a school bus was bombed by the Saudi coalition, fully supported by the US.
The global condemnation was so loud that the corporate media couldn't avoid it. They had to speak about it. However, we were right. It was just a small parenthesis away from the common agenda. The US-Saudi coalition war crimes in Yemen continue at the same rate, but the corporate media continue to act like if the war doesn't even exist.
Yet, surprisingly enough, we had an unexpected exception to this corporate media norm. CNN decided to return to the issue and condemn the US involvement in Yemen!
In the following video, Kyle Kulinski was also surprised by the fact that CNN covered again th…

Jeremy Corbyn: 'We are in touch with Bernie Sanders and his campaign'

globinfo freexchange
Jeremy Corbyn and Yanis Varoufakis had an interesting conversation in August 20, at the Edinburgh Book Festival. Varoufakis challenged Corbyn to lead an international progressive movement that will end the brutal policies of the dominant neoliberalism.
Interesting parts of the dialogue:
JC: We saw the way in which the European Central Bank treated yourselves and also the austerity that was imposed on Ireland on Portugal and Spain.
YV: It's not just a state. They committed a crime against the Irish people. The head of the Central Bank of Europe put a gun on the Irish Prime Minister's head and demanded that overnight the losses of private investors, mostly from Germany, should be transferred on to the books of the Irish state and the Irish Prime Minister's account. Now, that's, you know, robbery, just daylight robbery. That's what they did.
JC: I actually challenged the whole Maastricht idea, which established the European Central Bank, because it wa…

Τελευταία ευκαιρία για Grexit ... πριν αναλάβει ο Κούλης

globinfo freexchange
Η τελευταία κερδοσκοπική επίθεση κατά του τραπεζικού συστήματος δείχνει ότι ακόμα και όταν υποκύπτεις σε ότι ζητάει η διεθνής χρηματοπιστωτική μαφία, δεν είναι αρκετό.
Το ότι θα δικαιωνόμασταν για άλλη μια φορά και μάλιστα τόσο γρήγορα, πραγματικά δεν το περιμέναμε.
Μετά την υποτιθέμενη έξοδο από τα μνημόνια και το περίφημο διάγγελμα Τσίπρα είχαμε γράψει πως οι μετριοπαθείς 'Αριστεροί' προσπαθούν να μας πείσουν ότι τώρα η χώρα θα έχει περισσότερη ελευθερία να χαράξει τις δικές της πολιτικές. Δηλαδή, η χρεοκοπημένη Ελλάδα (που βρίσκεται σε χειρότερη κατάσταση απ'ότι όταν μπήκε στο πρόγραμμα διάσωσης), θα κολυμπήσει ξεβράκωτη στα ίδια νερά με τους καρχαρίες των αγορών και θα επιβιώσει. Αυτό πάνω-κάτω μας λένε.
Πράγματι λοιπόν, μετά από περίπου ενάμισι μήνα, ένα από τα βασικά εργαλεία του μηχανισμού της διεθνούς χρηματοπιστωτικής μαφίας (το Bloomberg), αποφάσισε να εξαπολύσει επίθεση κατά του τραπεζικού συστήματος και ο πανικός δεν άργησε να εξαπλωθεί. Όπω…

How Bezos tricked Bernie and workers

globinfo freexchange
The truth is that Bernie Sanders fought, and still fights for the workers more than any elected US president combined for decades. And his crusade against Amazon and Jeff Bezos' enormous greed resulted in the unprecedented decision of the company to raise minimum wage to $15 an hour.
But it was too good to be true.
As Bloomberg reported:
           Amazon.com Inc. is eliminating monthly bonuses and stock awards for warehouse workers and other hourly employees after the company pledged this week to raise pay to at least $15 an hour. Warehouse workers for the e-commerce giant in the U.S. were eligible in the past for monthly bonuses that could total hundreds of dollars per month as well as stock awards, said two people familiar with Amazon’s pay policies. The company informed those employees Wednesday that it’s eliminating both of those compensation categories to help pay for the raises, the people said.


As a pure product of the neoliberal culture, Bezos found the op…

This is the real EU ...

failed evolution
When the European Parliament voted recently to sanction Hungary for neglecting norms on democracy, civil rights and corruption, we wrote:
This is the Union that exhibited some "humanitarian sensitivity" by packing thousands of refugees in Greek islands under inhuman conditions and paid Turkey to keep them in its soil. And now, these hypocrites want to punish Hungary for neglecting norms on democracy, civil rights and corruption!
We were right.
According to a recent article by the NY Times:
There is growing acrimony — and now an investigation — over why the camp [Moria on the Greek island of Lesbos] is so bad when so much money has been provided by the European Union to help improve the Greek asylum system since migration levels started to rise in 2014.
[...]
Aid groups have been warning of a need for expanded facilities for several years, however. For some, the failure to improve the camp and hasten the asylum process suggests neglect on the…

Rapid drop of the recruitment rates may accelerate hyper-automation and privatization of the US army

globinfo freexchange
Younger generations have been 'trained' by the dominant culture to act in more 'pragmatic' terms in the arena of a brutal economic cynicism. As the fight for a place in this system becomes harder and harder, more and more people are being left out of the game. More and more of the them struggle to survive.
Despite these perfect conditions for the US empire components to exploit the growing numbers of the 'brigades of the poor’, not everything went well for the empire.
After 9/11 disaster, the Internet, the WikiLeaks, the alternative sources of information, the whistleblowers and the powerful combination of all these, brought some unprecedented changes. They managed to destroy the deceptive facade of the US deep state narratives, propagated through the corporate media.
With all the big lies, war crimes, war propaganda exposed to great extent, millennials and new generations are not easy targets for "war on terror"-type narratives.
As a con…

In Brazil too we see what has become now neoliberalism's common practice: recruit the far-right to do the dirty job

globinfo freexchange
Boaventura de Sousa Santos, professor of sociology at Coimbra University in Portugal, and a distinguished legal scholar at the University of Wisconsin Madison, spoke with Greg Wilpert of the Real News, about the shocking rise of neofascism in Brazil through presidential candidate, Jair Bolsonaro.
Santos explained:
It’s very well documented that the United States is - through several organizations - really advising, financing Bolsonaro’s campaign. Bannon has said that he had talks with the Bolsonaro’s son and they have particularly advised him in terms of digital strategies. That’s what they are doing. But we know that the Koch brothers have also been helping fund him.
We are in a society in which the class inequalities go together with the racial prejudice. In this society, which in fact for a long time it was very conservative and run by the oligarchies, in the last 15 years, there was a revolution in terms of the social policies - particularly the identity policies.…

Financial crises: a tool for the banking cartels to become more powerful

globinfo freexchange
Ten years after the last financial meltdown, very few spotted and mentioned (even until today) an astonishing admission by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC).
In the conclusions on chapter 20 of the report, the Commission implies that trillions (with a T) of taxpayer dollars were mobilized to stabilize the system.
Yet, perhaps the most astonishing conclusion that drawn very little attention, lies in the last sentence in which the Commission actually confirms that the financial sector is even more concentrated in the hands of very few powerful institutions:
A series of actions, inactions, and misjudgments left the country with stark and painful alternatives—either risk the total collapse of our financial system or spend trillions of taxpayer dollars to stabilize the system and prevent catastrophic damage to the economy. In the process, the government rescued a number of fi- nancial institutions deemed “too big to fail”—so large and interconnected with oth…

Liberal plutocrats preparing ground to wipe out progressives and directly take over the Democratic party in US

globinfo freexchange
Through his own humorous style, comedian Lee Camp pointed out something quite serious. As he explained, Facebook's founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, fulfilled all the conditions necessary to run for president of the United States.
One key condition is certain and obvious: tons of money.
Another one, is to pretend to be religious. And this condition is, of course, particularly important in the America of Donald Trump. Indeed, as Camp says, the former Atheist Mark Zuckerberg has suddenly found religion.
And the most recent fulfilled condition by Facebook's boss, was to secure the alliance with the US deep state.
Indeed, on October 11, Facebook announced the removal of 559 pages and 251 accounts from its service, accusing the account holders of “spam and coordinated inauthentic behavior.” The primary thread connecting victims of the purge seems to be that they are critics and/or opponents of the American political “mainstream” or “establishment.”
Also, as Ben Nort…