Repsol, Statoil Pull Foreign Oil Workers From Venezuela

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.


To Hell In A H… Rick Cerone Mon, 08/07/2017 - 12:53 Permalink

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?

In reply to by Rick Cerone

HowdyDoody CheapBastard Mon, 08/07/2017 - 13:56 Permalink

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

In reply to by CheapBastard

silverer Mon, 08/07/2017 - 12:47 Permalink

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.

Mike Masr Mon, 08/07/2017 - 13:03 Permalink

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!

Money_for_Nothing directaction Mon, 08/07/2017 - 13:19 Permalink

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.

In reply to by directaction

Money_for_Nothing Mon, 08/07/2017 - 13:13 Permalink

"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.

just the tip Money_for_Nothing Mon, 08/07/2017 - 15:17 Permalink

I've read that the only refineries geared up to refine Venezuela oil are in the US.if i may elaborate.  and begin by FIFYI'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.OTamerada 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.…

In reply to by Money_for_Nothing

PGR88 Mon, 08/07/2017 - 13:15 Permalink

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.

a Smudge by an… PGR88 Mon, 08/07/2017 - 13:58 Permalink

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.

In reply to by PGR88

Ckierst1 a Smudge by an… Mon, 08/07/2017 - 21:12 Permalink

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.

In reply to by a Smudge by an…

Money_for_Nothing Blue Steel 309 Mon, 08/07/2017 - 13:31 Permalink

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.

In reply to by Blue Steel 309

directaction Mon, 08/07/2017 - 13:47 Permalink

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. 

directaction Horse Pizzle (not verified) Mon, 08/07/2017 - 15:03 Permalink

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.

In reply to by Horse Pizzle (not verified)

Ckierst1 directaction Mon, 08/07/2017 - 20:39 Permalink

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. 

In reply to by directaction

Catahoula Mon, 08/07/2017 - 15:33 Permalink

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 Mon, 08/07/2017 - 16:02 Permalink

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 ogretown Mon, 08/07/2017 - 16:37 Permalink

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.

In reply to by ogretown

DaveA Mon, 08/07/2017 - 18:08 Permalink

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?