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Sat Jan 13, 2018, 09:19 PM

Once a Cash Cow, Venezuela's Oil Company Now Verges on Collapse

A general with no energy experience has been installed as the head of the state oil company. Arrests, firings and desperate emigration have gutted top talent. Oil facilities are crumbling, while production is plummeting.

As the rest of the oil-producing world recovers on the back of stronger energy prices, Venezuela is getting worse, the result of dysfunctional management, rampant corruption and the country’s crippling economic crisis. The deepening troubles at the state oil company, the country’s economic mainstay, threaten to further destabilize a nation and government facing a dire recession, soaring inflation and unbridled crime, as well as food and medicine shortages.

When energy prices started to crater several years ago, Venezuela and other oil-dependent nations suffered in tandem. Now, prices are rising and others in the oil patch are on the mend.

Saudi Arabia’s government is slashing its deficits and reaping increased revenue. Even dysfunctional Libya and Iraq have been pumping and exporting like mad.


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