Venezuelanalysis | Latest corruption network dismantled in Venezuelan oil industry

By Paul Dobson |

The bust follows a series of other anti-corruption operations this year, as well as extradition requests for a number of Venezuelan criminals living abroad.

Merida, December 19, 2018 ( – Venezuela’s Attorney General Tarek William Saab announced a new anti-corruption bust in the oil industry Tuesday, with four directors of the Petrowarao firm arrested.

Petrowarao’s Head of Finance Alimir Osorio Subero, Contract Administrator Yraima Lopez, and Operations and Maintenance Superintendents Noel Avila and Freddy Marquez are all accused of irregular contracting, criminal association, and intentional embezzlement in dealings which, according to the Attorney General’s office, have cost the nation more than US $9 million.

“The Attorney General’s office, in its determined fight against corruption and in favour of public ethics, has unveiled a new corruption network,” declared Saab in a press conference.

“With these four, the number of functionaries detained for oil-based corruption now reaches 100… This shows a systematic and permanent struggle to cleanse our oil industry,” he went on to manifest.

The latest bust involves the alleged irregular hiring of maintenance firms Turbimeca, Energy International, GE Energy Parts and Energy Controls Solutions in 2012 for vital maintenance of an electrical generator of the Pedernales oil field in the north eastern area of the Orinoco oil belt, in Delta Amacuro State.

Saab has accused those involved of “violating the internal controls and procedures,” as well as assigning contracts “without board approval.”

Despite the payment of US $5 million and 27,380,000 Bolivars (US $4.3 million at the exchange rate at the time), which was made to a personal bank account, the maintenance was never performed. As a result, oil production in Pedernales was later halted for over 235 days due to a failing electrical supply.

Pedernales oil field is run by Petrowarao, a company which was created in 2006 with 60 percent capital investment and ownership by Venezuela’s PDVSA and 40 percent by the British-French oil firm Perenco. The field has 26 active wells and is largely based on floating platforms. In 2010 and before the recent collapse in oil production, Pedernales produced around 5,000 barrels per day (bpd).

MinPublicoVE @MinpublicoVE

1/3 Este lunes fue realizada audiencia de imputación al ciudadano Pietro Micale, propietario de la empresa Proct-Petrol, por esquema de contrataciones con sobreprecios con empresas mixtas Petrocedeño y Petromonagas


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