PDVSA arrested nine managers for corruption and sabotage in Petrozamora, Russian joint venture
PDVSA's West division officials were apprehended Monday in the middle of an investigation into the irregularities in the acquisitions and operations of Petrozamora, a Venezuelan oil company with Russia's Gazprombank.
The investigation, led by the Public Ministry and a charge of the DGCIM (counterintelligence), began last Friday by complaints filed by a senior official of the Russian counterpart.
The action has preliminarily yielded the captures of PDVSA's senior officials in Zulia and Petrozamora itself, including its president.
Gazprombank's complaint includes indications of irregularities in the procurement of chemical inputs for crude processing, as well as sabotage actions tending to disqualify the Russian partner's performance.
There are also reports of diversion of crude oil that is impacting the production of Petrozamora that operates on the Costa Oriental del Lago.
Those apprehended are:
It carries out primary operations of exploitation, extraction, collection, transportation and storage of oil and associated gas in the Lagunillas and Bachaquero Tierra fields, Bachaquero Lago Bloque III Centro, Block III Bachaquero, Block VII Ceuta to Petrozamora, in an area of 2 thousand square kilometers, on the Costa Oriental del Lago, becoming the first mixed company with lake and land operations in the West of the country. Subsequently, in August 2017, the operational area Block VII Area 8 (Moporto Lago) was included.
Its production is placed at 110 thousand barrels per day, according to data provided on August 20 during a tour of the Russian press with the participation of the then president of PDVSA, Eulogio del Pino.
Sabotage Petrozamora seeks to break agreements with Russia
The recurring and aggressive sabotage of the Petrozamora joint venture, PDVSA's alliance with Gazprom, was intended to damage the relationship with Russia and destabilize the Venezuelan economy through an eventual rupture of the agreement with Moscow.
That is the preliminary conclusion of the first phase of the investigation that the Venezuelan intelligence has been carrying out since last weekend and that provisionally has been settled on Monday with the capture of nine senior officials of the oil industry in the west of the country.
The investigation carried out under the direction of the Public Prosecutor's Office, by DGCIM (military counterintelligence) has determined the existence of a prolonged process aimed at reducing the gas supply required for the extraction of crude oil.
This situation dates back to 2015 according to the complaint filed by representatives of the Russian company. The data indicates that this action was deliberately executed by different instances of the West Division of the state PDVSA and is determined by the allegations that several managers to impose contractors without complying with bidding processes.
Likewise, the Russians reported the serious situation of thefts and robberies in the various facilities and gave an example of what happened in April, when criminals seized connectors and other electrical components in the Lagunillas Tierra and Bachaquero Tierra fields. That happened in 65 points of extraction which caused a fall in the production of 3 thousand barrels per day.
However, the most damaging incident occurred on August 7 when an attack on the power supply of the flow stations caused production losses of 21 thousand barrels a day.
The investigation does not rule out the participation of right-wing factors as catalysts of sabotage. It also assumes that the managers involved may have received offers from the US government to legalize the assets obtained fraudulently, in exchange for providing information that harms the Bolivarian government. These types of actions have been carried out with the support of the manager and intelligence agent Martín Rodil.
Original in Spanish:
Translation by Axis of Logic