Friday , January 27 2023

Maduro Mai Sack Minister of Oil as Venezuelan sinks



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When Nicolas Maduro was inaugurated for the second six-month term of office next month, the Venezuelan President could replace the oil minister and CEO of PDVSA, Manuel Kuevedo, as a scapegoat for the sinking of Venezuelan oil production, S & P Global Platts reported Friday. sources close to the situation.

Quevedo, the chief of the national guards without experience in the oil industry, was appointed as the new head of VATSA and the Ministry of Oil in November 2017, indicating Maduro as a step towards eradicating corruption from VATSA and the oil industry of Venezuela. Kueved's appointment followed a series of arrests related to allegations of corruption, with more than 50 VATSA executives arrested as part of the government's "crusader" on corruption.

For thirteen months under Kevedo's administration, Venezuelan oil production has fallen to its lowest level for 60 years, and there are no signs that endemic corruption and mismanagement have been exploited.

According to OPEC's secondary sources, Venezuela's firefighting production continues to fall – by another 52,000 bpd from October, in November it will amount to 1,137 million bpd. To compare, Venezuelan oil production averaged 2.154 million barrels for 2016 and 1.911 million bpd for 2017.

Given that the economy has fallen deep in a two-digit recession and invisible hyperinflation, Maduro faces an increased pressure from creditors, and now with a fall in oil prices, with further sharp revenues from oil exports in Venezuela. Oil accounts for 98 percent of Venezuelan export revenues.

"Venezuela has barely survived at $ 80 / b and we can switch it to $ 50 / b," Platts told analysts at the PetroMatrik consulting service Olivier Jakob.

According to Platts sources, the leading candidate to replace Kevedo could be Jorge Rodriguez, a close ally of Maduro, as well as current Communications and Information Minister and current Vice President Delci Rodriguez's brother. Diosdado Cabello, chairman of the Maduro constituent assembly, allegedly favors VATSHA's vice-president for VAT, Guillermo Blanco Acosta, for Kueved's position, while rumors of the rumors state that Jose Vielma Mora and former Central Bank President Nelson Merentes are potential deputies.

Two things can save Kuevedas for layoffs, according to Platts's relationship with the oil minister with the army and his incoming one-year job as a rotating president of OPEC who is in a high profile in the cartel.

Author: Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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