Archive for September 18th, 2007

PDVSA 2006 oil production and exports numbers

September 18, 2007

While I haven’t had the time to digest and analyze the PDVSA financials finally published last week, I did look at the production numbers reported with the financials. Below, I post them as reported for 2006 and 2005 and I reconstructed the same type of reporting from the SEC financials for 2004. (For some reason I don’t understand the date on the left column for 2006 moves to the right when I convert it into a picture, thus assume that 2006 is right to the left of the 2005 while I figure out what to do)

PDVSA production in ‘000 barrels a day.

I will only make two comments about these numbers, which are not credible:

1) The Export numbers are funny. PDVSA has been reporting the “production” from the Orinoco oil belt as the amount of oil generated before the oil is processed in the upgraders. Basically, you improve the quality of the heavy crude and then sell it for more. In the process you lose oil, as demonstrated in 2004 in the SEC filing, when production was 601,000 barrels a day, but the barrels out of the upgrader (which is what you can sell) were only 439,000 barrels. But magically, in 2005 and 2006 the numbers are essentially the same for production and exports, despite the fact that in the previous years and as reported to the SEC, the average “loss” in upgrading was 15%. No such loss in 2005 and 2006, which is difficult to understand.

2) The second number which is not believable is that the difference between imports and exports is only 299,000 barrels a day. Supposedly, that would be the daily consumption of gasoline of the country, except that PDVSA also imports oil. And that is where the fudge factor comes in. Nobody knows how much PDVSA imports each day.

During the year PDVSA says it spent US$ 5 billion on importing oil, which would imply 249,000 barrels a day in imports of oil, which still makes no sense as six years earlier, in 2000, gasoline consumption was already above the sum of the difference plus imports and I am not taking into account that you don’t get a barrel of gasoline out of a barrel of oil.

However, I got the US$ 5 billion from the financials where it says “Purchases of Crude and products National Sector”, but under “International Sector” there are some US$ 53.7 billion in purchases,, which correspond to CITGO purchases. However, you can always do intercompany swaps between the international and the national side of PDVSA, which would hide the true reality of the situation, which seems to be what is being done. In fact, using this, PDVSA could claim any number for its total production and/or exports.

What is clear is that the number, as usual, exhibit some serious inconsistencies on the production and export side of things.

More on the financial part later.

The Chavez brothers show their arrogance and ignorance on the time zone issue

September 18, 2007

It was a sight to see, the autocrat himself acting dumb, failing to understand a simple concept, while he claims to understand very complex economic problems and issues on which he makes decisions and creates new systems without any expert advise, followed by his brother the Minister of Education acting even dumber on the subject of which direction you have to change the time next Monday to implement Venezuela’s new revolutionary and useless time zone.

You may be able to forgive the autocrat, after all, he was poor and could not go to the University, while his brother somehow was rich and managed to get a degree in Physics from the University of Los Andes, which should have prepared him to understand this very simple issue.

But the worst part is that both acted with their usually know-it-all arrogance, as some people in the public attempted to correct them. But no, the revolution and their leaders are never wrong, the Chavez’ are never wrong and the issue was closed by saying that next Monday you should advance your watch half an hour in order to have the sun come out earlier.

Yeah! Sure! Which only shows how improvised and brainless this stupid decision is, like so many things in the robolution.