The New PDVSA, our national oil company, is a powerful tool that we have strengthened to develop our natural resources. Its existence not only fills us with national pride, but allows us to effectively participate with success in a global business, to compete with long-standing transnationals and to defend in all areas the collective interest as a company owned 100% by the Republic, owned and operated by Venezuelans.
Its genesis is in the defeat of the fierce oil sabotage, developed against our country by the senior management of the old PDVSA, who self-proclaimed themselves as "meritocratic". Workers and professionals who were in the thousands, together with the people and our Armed Forces, knew how to defeat it and reestablish our company. These are 94,000 capable workers with a profound national and revolutionary commitment, who today, operate and manage the company.
This was not always so, in the throes of the Fourth Republic, during the development of the oil opening, the role and weight of PDVSA was clearly in a process of minimization. Its operations were privatized, with the euphemism of shedding from "non-core activities." Drills were given away, the injection of water and gas to deposits, the transport fleet, the automation and control system, ie, the brain of the industry, the terminals, water operations, and finally, the oil production fields under the misleading figure of operating agreements that violate the legal framework. From the labor perspective, and under the privatization policy, the old PDVSA gradually decreased its own staff, using the figure of outsourcing and the hiring of "professional services".
It had become a contract administrator. This came to its peak during the oil opening when it was given a role of middleman for the transnational interest, as the infamous "National Oil Company" created by Juan Vicente Gómez. It was turned into a Trojan horse, advocating towards the interests of transnational corporations, dismantling our existing legal and fiscal framework and giving away the Orinoco Oil Belt.
During the oil opening policy and given the privatization of PDVSA, it underwent a process of disinvestment and divestment, taking away operational capabilities and giving the expansion plans to foreign companies, which had operational and shares control of the "Strategic Partnerships "of the Belt. Many of the "analysts" and sectors who today so cowardly attack our national company economically benefited from it.
From 1986 began the policy of "internationalization," which transferred more than 14,000 million dollars in acquisition of assets abroad, right in the years of deepest economic crisis in Venezuela, transfers and acquisitions sustained in basis of a policy of discounts in the oil bill, selling oil (The Venezuelan basket was around $ 10 a barrel) with a discount of up to $ 4 to the refining system in the U.S. This would be an equivalent to a discount of $ 40 a barrel to the current basket price of $ 100.
The divestiture, privatization and internationalization policy led in 1998, according to audited financial statements from PDVSA, as well as it was denounced in the 1999 Report from the Commercial Commissioner of the company, to a deficit of 14.626 million dollars. It was a company in liquidation.
It is clear that transnational corporations and their agents and commercial representatives in the country do not care for us to have a national and strong company, as it is the New PDVSA. Hence their persistent effort since its inception and even more, since the defeat of the oil sabotage in systematically discredit and attack our oil company and its workers.
Today the new PDVSA is one of the top 5 oil companies in the world. Lets compare figures between 1998 and 2011: We went from 48,092 to 185,420 million in assets, 32,700 to 75,300 million in national wealth, from a deficit of 14,626 to a surplus of 4,950 million dollars, from 42,000 to 94,000 workers and its resource base from 77,000 to 297,500 million barrels of proven and certified reserves.
The most characteristic feature is its deep popular character, the vision of oil enclave was left behind. Today PDVSA belongs to the people, their employees aware of the historical moment we live in, participate directly in the battle front that the Bolivarian Revolution holds against poverty and exclusion, the effort to overcome the oil rentier model and expand the productive forces for the construction of Socialism.
From there, the enthusiastic participation of our employees in the Bolivarian Missions, the creation of Social Districts, the boost for the People’s Power, the participation in the Great Venezuela Housing Mission, the support to educational institutes, the national development effort, our non-oil subsidiaries: PDVSA Industrial, PDVSA Communal Gas, PDVSA Agriculture and PDVSA La Estancia, among others.
This elevates us as Venezuelans and as a state enterprise. We will continue here next to the people, the poorest ones, the humble ones, who feel redeemed and restored by Commander Chavez and his oil policy, after years of deprivation and exclusion.