Venezuela: PDVSA’s Statement about Nationalization of Drilling Rigs

Caracas – At the beginning of 2009 the Venezuela state owned oil industry Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA, in Spanish) began a process of re-negotiation of fees of all the firms that offer services in the country. In this process, which in the area of drilling rigs included the participation of 33 companies, only one, Heimlich & Payne (H&P), refused to reach an agreement.

The drilling firm H&P has kept eleven drilling units out of operation for more than a year – 10 3,000 horsepower units in eastern and western Venezuela, and one 2,000-horsepower unit on eastern Venezuela.

Spare H&P, the 32 firms – 14 national, 18 international – that performed services in Venezuela’s oil and gas sector, operating a total of 155 drills throughout the country, reached agreements with PDVSA, representing a sense of confidence in Venezuela’s state-owned firm by its national and international partners.

Regardless, as earlier indicated, and despite almost a year worth of meetings with representatives and directors of H&P, it was not possible to reach an agreement due to the firm’s intransigence.

The nationalization of the oil production drills of the contracting firm H&P will not only translate into an increase in the production of oil and gas in the country, but it will also grant over 600 workers full-time employment with PDVSA –an improvement upon the contract work they had before— and will allow the creation of other sources of work direct and indirect in the hydrocarbons sector.

For all of these reasons, in defense of the interests of the Venezuelan people and taking into consideration that the cited drills have not been in operation for over a year, PDVSA will request that the National Assembly declare them a public utility as stated in Article 4 of the Venezuelan Organic Law on Hydrocarbons.

PDVSA ratifies its intention to keep working with its privately-held partners, both national and international, just as has been demonstrated through numerous projects currently under development, under the existing legal framework and in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

Additionally, PDVSA categorically rejects the declarations made by the U.S. empire – repeated in our country by media outlets owned by the oligarchy – through which it seeks to strain Venezuela’s relations with its partners, which in the Orinoco Oil Belt alone have produced projects worth $80 billion and in which services for wells have produced a mixed enterprise with the U.S.-based firm Schlumberger, the world’s major firm in this specialty.

Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) / June 25, 2010

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