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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.

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