Repsol, Statoil Pull Foreign Oil Workers From Venezuela

Tyler Durden's picture

One day after Venezuela allegedly squashed a "military rebellion", in anticipation of further political and social turmoil in the socialist nation, energy giant Repsol SA pulled all foreign workers from its fields in Venezuela, Bloomberg reports adding that Norway’s Statoil ASA also removed all expat staff.

According to Bloomberg, Repsol field workers left the country in the past few weeks, with a skeleton expatriate staff remaining at the company’s offices in Caracas. Separately, Statoil withdrew its last three foreign workers before the July 30 election to ensure their safety, Erik Haaland, a company spokesman, told Bloomberg by phone.

The immediate result of the departures will be an even bigger decline in Venezuela's oil output - the only remaining asset which Maduro can readily exchange for dollars - further exacerbating the country's financial crisis as the inflow of hard currency slows further.

The departure of workers will be a concern to the government because oil output, which has tumbled over the past two years, accounts for 95 percent of Venezuela’s foreign-currency earnings. Repsol gets about 10% of its production from the country, where it owns a stake in the Carabobo heavy-oil field. The Spanish company also is a partner in the Perla project, Latin America’s largest offshore gas deposit, together with Eni SpA.

A spokesman for Rome-based Eni said the company is keeping only essential expatriate personnel in the country. It isn’t currently considering an evacuation but continues to monitor the situation, he said.

In what some may consider employee discrimination, Repsol said it still has Venezuelan citizens working at its operations without specifying how many foreign staff had been in the country. Statoil also still has Venezuelans - but not foreigners - at its sites, Haaland said.

As a reminder, the violence in Venezuela escalated sharply ahead of the July vote to elect members of the constituent assembly, with the opposition denouncing the move as a power-grab by President Nicolas Maduro. While the election faced accusations of fraud, including from the company that provided voting machines for the ballot, the new assembly convened last week. One of its first actions was to remove chief prosecutor Luisa Ortega Diaz, the highest-ranking member of Maduro's administration who broke rans with the authoritarian and was critical of the government.

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Rick Cerone's picture

CHINA moving into Venezuela.


To Hell In A Handbasket's picture

The USSA appears unable to extrapolate future events, so inept is their foreign policy.

  • "It's Hit & Miss" for the Pentagram over the last 20 years. 
  • Hit in Libya, as they now have cart blanch over the oil. Miss in Syria, as the Russians intervened. 
  • Miss in Iraq, as Iraq has turned to the Shia brothers in Iran, who have the most influence now. 
  • Miss in the Ukraine, as the Russian took the Crimea and Ukraine is being indebted by the IMF. lol  
  • Hit in Europe, by destabilising Europe, by flooding us with refugees from the MENA. 
  • Miss in Turkey, by losing Erdogan to the Russians and Chinese one belt road, with our failed coup attempt.
  • Unknown so far, in our sacrifice of Qatar?
CheapBastard's picture

Jerry Brown's Utopia-----Venezuela!!!

HowdyDoody's picture

A video of apparently Venezuelan 'military' denouncing Maduro released at the time of the military attacks.

The leader was charged with treason 3 years ago and fled to Miami, home to extreme right-wing Venezuelans (probably best buddies with the equivalent Cubans, and possibly taking the same Dole). If the guy fled to Miami, either the video was filmed there or he managed somehow to get back into a military base in Venezuela, evading all immigration security. Perhaps he travelled Criminal Incorporated Airlines? The Venezuelans claim most of the other people are just opposition members dressed in military uniform. That fits in with the data about the number of people reportedly involved in the attacks in Venezuela.


Blue Balls's picture

The dumb shit Venezuelins in Miami vote Democrat.  The Muduro/Obama/Chavez/ Cliton Marxist philosophy doesn,t seem to bother them.

PrezTrump's picture

you think the US caused you take in refugees?  it was your fault for not standing up and saying hell no we don't want to become a terrorist hell hole!

typically shit from a foreigner.  blame everything on the US, while your government fucks everything around you.  

a Smudge by any other name's picture

it was your fault for not standing up and saying hell no we don't want to become part of your stupid invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. Which created the refugees to begin with. Now it's your fault for letting these same in.

fixed it for ya!

PrezTrump's picture

Sorry, but that's YOUR problem.  

You didnt need to take them in afterall.

Last of the Middle Class's picture

I'm betting the Iranian Embassy in Caracas is still fully staffed. LMAO!

nmewn's picture

Man, when Norway & Spain bail on the socialist utopia of Venezuela you know it's screwed. 

silverer's picture

Now it comes down to Maduro's highly technical, highly trained, and highly motivated oil crews to pick up the slack. Except in socialist paradise Venezuela, it's always expected that somebody else does the work. This should be entertaining.

nmewn's picture

He should kick in a couple rolls of toilet paper per oil worker as a sweetener like he did for his loyalist military. 

It shouldn't decrease his stash too much  ;-)

Richard Chesler's picture

I don't think Maduro's ape nephews and cousins count as highly technical or highly trained staff.

PacOps's picture

Not to wish bad things on anyone but when Maduro is hanging naked by his foot from whatever I will make an exception.

Mike Masr's picture

Maduro will nationalize many of these companies and sell off large chunks to Gazprom or a Russian & Chinese Energy consortium for cash!

Russians will then fill the oil workers jobs!!

Russians will own a huge chunk of Venezuelas oil!

just the tip's picture

and possibly 49% of three US refineries.

youngman's picture

Wait until he has to buy a new pump or some piece of equipment.....good luck with that

hoytmonger's picture

True, for a country whose largest industry is oil, you'r think that they'd be able to establish the support industries and employ more people.

The chavistas don't care, though, they just want handouts.

Rick Cerone's picture

CIA is fighting China in Venezuela.

Proxy war at its best.

directaction's picture

Great news. Good riddance.

Use it as an excuse to nationalize the scumbag foreign parasites.

Plus, more jobs for the Venezuelans.  

Money_for_Nothing's picture

They tried that for farming in Rhodesia. Destroyed a lot of wealth and made a lot of people dead or hungry.

Oil drilling and pumping is capital intensive even when an organization and its employees know their business. In Venezuela it's what tribe, not how competent. All the capital has been spent or sent out of the country for safe keeping.

a Smudge by any other name's picture

Yup and Venezuela's oil exports rely on imports of other chemicals and petroleum products to extract and refine. Sorry, can't just kick out the world and own the oil.

Money_for_Nothing's picture

"CHINA moving into Venezuela."
"Russians will own a huge chunk of Venezuelas oil!"

I've read that the only refineries geared up to refine Venezuela oil are in the US.
China can get cheaper oil and easier to refine from ME.
Why would Russia want oil production outside Russian to increase? (smile) To lower oil prices?

Cuba has troops there. But the troops may get hungry.

Trump would be their only hope. Trump and CIA are enemies. Democrats aren't likely to give Trump the Ok to invade a socialist paradise. Republicans have even less interest.

Venezuela people need to pray to God for their salvation.

Maybe China will send aid so that Venezuela can replace North Korea as a thorn in the US thumb.

MuffDiver69's picture

What a refinery can crack is an important point often overlooked by the average idiot...

PGR88's picture

So when the government changes, the new regime will just steal any assets back from the Chinese.  No problem.

just the tip's picture

I've read that the only refineries geared up to refine Venezuela oil are in the US.

if i may elaborate.  and begin by FIFY

I've read that the only refineries geared up to refine Venezuela oil efficiently are in the US.

any refinery can process the venezuelan sludge.  they would have to mix it with other crude and reduce the throughput/capacity of their process to about 25% of maximum.  economically, that is just not something people looking for a profit are willing to do.  also, some of their process vessels will have to be replaced.  simply cleaning and maintenance will not do.


amerada hess used to have a refinery on st. croix.  that motherfucker was a monster.  it was specifically designed to process venezuelan crude.  no process enhancement.  no adjusting flows.  just raw venezuelan crude.  when hurricanes came through and platforms were abandoned and refineries shut down.  that refinery did not miss a beat.  they even had roped and lanyard walkways in case people had to go out during the hurricane so they would not get blown away.  i don't think that thing shut down from the day it started until they decomissioned it.  environmental horseshit and it was inefficient, but it was a fucking monster.

Dragon HAwk's picture

Lets order everybody back to the country of their birth, for a census, and see if the fighting stops.. worked back in 1 BC.

just the tip's picture

that's one way to get rid of the HNIC.

PGR88's picture

Every day gets more interesting in Venezuela - its like a high school science experiment, except instead of chemistry, its government.   Watch what happens to a country with socialism kids!

The Venezuelans chose this, and Chavez and Maduro are not alien invaders.  It simply represents Venezuelan political culture.  So let them enjoy their destruction, good and hard.

hedgeless_horseman's picture



Stupid should hurt.

a Smudge by any other name's picture

Venezuelan political culture, up to the point of Chavez was European. Beginning first with Spanish conquest, the Pope's buddies had control and they took all the resources and set the locals to work on them. That was around 1522AD.

Then this guy called Simon Bolivar decided he could do just fine without the Pope for he waged multiple wars of "independence". And him and his buddies took all the resources and set the locals to work on them. That was about 1820.

Chavez gets elected on massive popular turnout and begins "sharing the wealth". That was 1998.

That's about 476 years since the indigenous people saw any benefit from their own resources.

The_Juggernaut's picture

at least they had paper to wipe their asses with.  Now what do they have?

a Smudge by any other name's picture

Growing forests and idle paper mills.

Ckierst1's picture

Czechoslovakia also voted in Marxism.  They made a big mistake of 50 years duration.  I suspect that they've learned from the experience.  The Venezuelans are ahead of that curve it appears.  Socialism is a toxic evil philosophy of political economy.  Free enterprise is the antidote.  Socialism doesn't share wealth, it conficates it and shares misery.

Blue Steel 309's picture

I am sure that after the turmoil in Venezuela settles, some International Oligarchs will own some nice land there.

hoytmonger's picture

As opposed to the socialist oligarchs that own most of the wealth now?

Money_for_Nothing's picture

Why would anyone invest there?

It would be interesting to see how much oil companies made there net. I think the investment banks (oligarchs) have made a bundle. But a lot of that money would be oil company (oligarchs) capital. The claim is that the net profit margin is about 6%. Probably the oil companies have amortized all the investments they have made. They quit investing as soon as Hugo took over. Had at least ten years to write everything off.

hoytmonger's picture

Venezuela has been the least economically free country in the world for the last three years. The socialist apologists don't have a leg to stand on with their support for the dancing bus driver.

The best and brightest have already left Venezuela, there's noone left to rebuild their economy.

directaction's picture

Venezuela oil production peaked in 1997 at 3.2 mbbls/d, twenty years ago, two years before Hugo Chavez became national leader.

Their oil production began declining that year and has been declining ever since. 

The reduced oil production in Venezuela is due to depletion, an overproduction and geologic phenomenon, not economic or political based. 

Michigander's picture

Not economic or political based? Jesus, how naive can you be. The initial drop may be as you say but the socialist utopia has dramitically increased that rate of decay. You gonna talk about global warming next?

Horse Pizzle's picture

Venezuelan oil production plunged because Chavez replaced MIT trained petroleum engineers and managers with his army privates and bus driver buddies.

directaction's picture

All oil producing countries peak. Only about seven oil producers have yet to begin the permanent decline. US oil production plunged from 1971 to about ten years ago, when fracking liquids entered the liquid energy mix. But that's temporary. It's crazy to blame Hugo for Venezuela's reaching peak oil, especially when it occurred before he came to office.

Ckierst1's picture

Venezuela had huge reserves.  That they couldn't bounce back from a production blip that you call "peak" says more about the increasingly socialist (Marxist) attitude of the country (Stuff doesn't happen in a vacuum for investors/oil explorers ya know) in the ensuing time and the continued decline says reams about their increasing ineptitude and hostility.  Oil isn't their only resource by the way.  They also failed to develop their gold resources also, for instance, and jerked around a bunch of Canadian gold developers, which I managed to profit from, I might add.  They shot themselves in the foot.  It gets a bit threadbare to pin this mess on the US spooks.  You don't need to take down a foe that's their own worst enemy.  They do a pretty good job of it themselves.


Catahoula's picture

Another CIA calamity. Just watching, waiting. Upon Maduros elimination, a democratically elected govt to be installed and IMF marches in with a full package of loans to 'save' the society and create indentured slaves. Sounds familiar

ogretown's picture

Very pleased to hear the foreign workers are already safely out of the country.  You never know what the bus driver would do if they were still there, as after all - at the end of the day the last tactic deployed by yet another gang of failed socialists is to pull out their guns and dictate policy at gun point.  And oh yea, before I forget, anyone else notice that Sean Penn has been awfully quiet when it comes to his once-favorite socialist cesspool.   

gdpetti's picture

By 'socialist', you are referring to the States, no?

This article seems to point out that the companies have been warned by the Agency of 'regime change' action approaching... will it play better than our messy little coup in Turkey with Erdo the Idiot? Our ops don't work will without an in-place oligarchy waiting in the wings, and that isn't the case here... We've seen this op before and we know when they work and when they don't and why... but then as the OWO collapses in favor of the NWO, does it really matter as long as total chaos can be achieved? as that is the global goal. If you can't totally control it, destroy it.... that is our way, classic Great Game play.... at least as 'game theory' and FU Buddy games go.

DaveA's picture

The British East India Company didn't have such problems. They had their own battleships and mercenary armies, so their capital assets weren't at the mercy of flaky tin-pot dictators. Just overthrow him and install someone else already. Don't even pretend it's a "popular uprising", because who cares about the opinions of the local fauna?

Ckierst1's picture

And those imperialist policies are a major reason why the world is so fucked up and why they and ultimately, we, are involved in 2 world wars and a whole bunch of smaller conflicts, not to mention ongoing terrorism.

DaveA's picture

Chickens can't fly, so they can't come home to roost if you don't let them. Allowing millions of colonial subjects to come live in Great Britain, collect welfare, build mosques, and commit terrorist attacks there was an unforced error.