PDVSA production report: first semester 2009
24/09/09 | PDVSA's production in traditional areas has decreased to its lowest level in 25 years. If production from strategic associations is added, it is the lowest in the last 20 years. The constant decline in number of operating drills, associated with expropriations and stoppage of activities in Western and Eastern Venezuela during the first 6 months of 2009, has resulted in a sustained drop in production that will hardly revert in the short term.
Venezuela's oil exports have decreased faster than production, given domestic substained increase in gasoline consumption (figures corroborated by international agencies' figures). However oil exports to the USA are dropping less than overall exports, which suggests that PDVSA tends to concentrate its sales in the US market. This is due, strictly, to revenue reasons, for production from strategic associations go, by design, to refineries in the USA, while PDVSA is capitalising on CITGO's retail distribution chain to maximise profits from refined products.
In the meanwhile, the USA is diversifying its energy sources and is less dependent on Venezuelan oil exports. US imports of Venezuelan oil has halved in the last decade. In conclussion, the US is less dependent on Venezuelan oil while Venezuela is ever more dependent on exports to the USA.
Read Ramon Espinasa's report here.
Venezuela illiteracy-free fake claims
London 06.07.06 | This was just too good to let it pass... On 22 June this year Maria Pilar Hernandez, Vice Minister of External Relations for North America and Multilateral Affairs, gave a speech in Geneva before the UN's Human Rights Council in which she stated, amongst other pearls of wisdom, the following "just to cite some important examples, our country had the honour in 2005 of having been declared officially by UNESCO as an illiteracy-free territory..." Knowing the deceitful nature of chavistas I decided to call UNESCO, to check whether or not there was any true to that allegation since the data contained in UNESCO's Institute for Statistics does not correspond to Ms. Hernandez declaration. I spoke to Sue Williams, UNESCO's Chief of Section of Bureau of Public Information in Paris, and this is what she had to say in that respect: "UNESCO has not endorsed or made any statement to the effect that Venezuela is free of illiteracy.
Venezuela public spending per capita, on housing
Other graphs depicting public spending on housing may misleadingly show lines with an upward slope. This is for failure to adjust for other factors. Namely, this graph uses constant Venezuelan Bolivar currency (year 2000), and adjusts for population growth, depicted by the long-line plot. The bars represent the average yearly public spending per capita on housing for the nine years previous to Hugo Chavez's administration, then for the six years of Chavez's administration.
The short-line plot emphasizes and quantifies what is visually clear from the bars: Chavez's administration has been spending only two thirds of what his predecessors were spending.
For Chavez's 2005 administration to make up for the difference and merely match what preceeding adminstrations were spending on housing, it would have to increase its 2004 spending by 1,130%! Unfortunately, referring back to the long-line plot, it is clear that as years go by Chavez's administration is decreasing an already small spenditure.
From the graphs on public spending and constructed homes one can assess intention and effectiveness, respectively. From this graph we can discard a lack of spending (i.e., caring) as the single cause for such dismal results. By dividing the amount spent by the number of units constructed, we get the long-line plot as a measure of (in)efficiency. It is worth noting that the spending is based on constant Venezuelan Bolivar currency (year 2000).
The bars represent the average cost of constructing a home for the nine years previous to, then for the six years of, Chavez's administration. The costs per unit are actually higher because the numbers, here, of completed homes include both public and private sector constructions, which in 2003 had a ratio of about 4:1.
The short-line plot emphasizes and quantifies what is visually clear from the bars: It costs Chavez's administration more than twice as much to build one home than what it cost preceding administrations.
The difference between averages would be even greater if it weren't for the later completion of some homes that were begun before Chavez's administration. Only this administration's first year, the year in which homes from previous administrations were completed, has a value within the range of values of the preceding administrations. All other years, Chavez's administration's numbers have been higher than the highest in nine previous years!
Besides the high cost per unit of Chavez's administration, it is worth pondering as to whether the spikes in what should otherwise be values of attenuated changes are proof of corruption.
As can be seen from the long-line plot, not even during Hugo Chavez's administration's best year are more homes constructed than during the worst year of the previous administrations. Chavez's administration has been consistently completing fewer than 1.5 homes per year for every 1000 persons. For five of its six years, it has constructed fewer than one! Looking at construction numbers, instead of public spending on housing, permits analyzing results detached from intention.
The bars represent the yearly average for the nine years previous to, then for the six years of, Chavez's administration. The short-line plot emphasizes and quantifies what stands out from the bars: Chavez's administration has been completing less than one quarter the homes than preceding adminstrations.
For Chavez's 2005 administration to make up for the difference and merely match what preceeding adminstrations were achieving, it would have to increase 2004 construction by a whopping 4,974%! Unfortunately, referring back to the long-line plot, it is clear that as years go by Chavez's administration's results are decreasing an already embarrassing showing.