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PDVSA to save $700 million every year by re-nationalizing operations

Lagunillas.- Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA) will save around 700 million dollars every year by retaking control of the operations in Lake Maracaibo, reported the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, during the ceremony of re-nationalization held on Friday at the Maracaibo Terminal, in the municipality of Lagunillas in the state of Zulia.

The president explained that one of the implications of this revolutionary action, apart from recovering the ownership and control over the assets, is that workers were freed from the capitalist yoke. Additionally, there will be a significant saving, because until now, the cost to produce one barrel of oil in the area was around 8 dollars, 40% of which was contractors’ profits. This accounts for a $700-million saving per year.

“The time has come to have a Fatherland. This land will never again be the slave of anyone. We will be more free and independent every day; today is a day of national dignity, of national independence. Down with capitalism, long live Socialism,” exclaimed the president, after explaining the operations involved in regaining asset control after the Organic Law was passed which grants the state the right to own goods and services related to primary activities in the hydrocarbon industry, and includes, among others, water injection activities, lake transport, as well as associated activities.

The head of state underlined that this act opens the nationalization process of 60 private companies that “are disappearing today because the people and the workers can, and will show that we are more efficient in managing the industry and associated services.”

Later, in the sector of Punta de Palma, municipality of La Cañada de Urdaneta, Wilfredo Briceño, deputy manager of Upstream Operations West and Leonel Valdez, engineer at PDVSA Services, were in charge of taking over the operations at the water injection plant, which saves the company owned by all Venezuelans some 16.3 million dollars per year, in this area alone.

President Chávez proposed that part of the savings obtained through the re-nationalization be used to promote projects in the poorest sectors in the region, building houses, cleaning up Lake Maracaibo, and that these resources be managed by the working class and community power. “As long as I am here, and as long as the Revolution continues, the people will be more empowered, the workers will be more empowered, and they should be aware of that. The awareness of a working class is one of its greatest powers for its liberation.”

For years, workers had to use their own money for some of the activities that were the responsibility of the contractors, such as repairing boats and even paying for certain industrial safety equipment. Also, company managers did not allow the entry of officials of the Institute for Control and Preservation of the Lake Maracaibo Basin to the facilities. Workers are urged to open these spaces to the communities to preserve the environment jointly.

President Chávez congratulated minister Ramírez and the entire PDVSA staff for the resoluteness in this task of regaining control and rebuilding the Venezuelan Fatherland.