The Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has put forward the Petroamerica initiative, a proposal envisaging the energy integration of the peoples of our continent, which is embraced within the framework of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Peoples of our America (ALBA) and based on the principles of solidarity and complementariness of the countries concerning the fair and democratic use of resources for the development or their peoples.
The spirit of the Venezuelan proposal is summarized in the words of the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez Frías, at the signing of the Energy Cooperation Agreement with the Dominican Republic during a visit to that country.
“Venezuela has under its soil the largest oil reserves in the world and the largest gas reserves in our continent, from the North Pole, from Alaska, to the Land of Fire. We have the largest gas reserves here in the Caribbean region and we want to share them with the North, the South, the East and the West, giving priority to our neighbors, our brother countries. We think that it’s not fair that with the huge volumes of gas and oil we have, there are frequent power cuts in the Dominican Republic; the Northern region of Brazil does not have energy for its development; Colombia does not have enough energy for its border towns, or for the South or West of the country; Haiti does not have energy for the power plants that feed hospitals; Grenada and all of these brother countries… This isn’t fair. Venezuela has recovered its deepest Bolivarian roots and more than saying it, we want to show it by really joining together and being free.”
This new entity will become an engine that will make it possible for our countries to have access to their own non-renewable natural energy resources, thus reducing socioeconomic asymmetries, and will defend the use by our peoples of the natural energy resources, as the basis for the development of more supportive, efficient and fair societies, well prepared for the struggle against poverty.
Petroamérica is conceived as a geopolitical enabler oriented toward the setting up of cooperation and integration mechanisms, using the energy resources of the Caribbean, Central American and South American regions as a basis for the socioeconomic improvement of our peoples.
The development of this energy integration alternative entails:
- Redefining the relations between countries on the basis of their resources and potentials;
- Taking advantage of the economic, social and cultural complementariness to reduce asymmetries in the region;
- Minimizing the negative impact that energy costs, resulting from geopolitical and speculative factors, have on the countries of the region.
- Strengthening other regional initiatives such as Mercosur, CAN, ALBA, and the South American Community of Nations.
Three sub-regional energy integration initiatives converge on Petroamérica: Petrosur, including Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela and Uruguay; Petrocaribe, signed by 14 Caribbean countries; and Petroandina, a proposal for Andean Community member countries (Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela.)
All these initiatives emerge from the need of our countries to meet their energy requirements by means of mutual collaboration and complementariness of our human and material potentials as sovereign countries. In this regard, these initiatives are intended to overcome speculative and geopolitical factors which bring about distortions on energy markets and weaken regional economies. By the same token, this sort of initiatives advocates the sovereign use of energy resources as driving force for endogenous development and integration of Latin American and Caribbean countries, with the aim of reducing economic and social asymmetries among our peoples.
Petroamérica and its sub-regional counterparts advance on a platform that includes direct negotiations between States, declarations and development of joint initiatives by regions; signing of integral cooperation agreements; identification of areas for cooperation and bilateral agreements between enterprises and/or state-run entities; and the establishment of partnerships and/or specific cooperation agreements in areas such as:
- Oil and product supply.
- Exchange of good and services, infrastructure development, financing.
- Design, construction and joint operation of refineries, storage and port facilities.
- Joint commercialization of crude, products, PLG, asphalt and lubricants.
- Transportation and logistics.
- Joint exploration and production of oil and gas.
- Gas processing and commercialization.
- Public policies.
At another integration level, agreements within the framework of Petroamérica propose the integration of State-run energy companies in Latin America and the Caribbean in order to implement agreements and carry out joint investments for exploration, production and commercialization of oil and natural gas.