PDVSA's sad third place

Every year, AméricaEconomía releases a ranking of the 500 largest companies from Latin America. This year, 5 of the 10 biggest companies in the region are part of the oil/natural gas industry.

The semi-public Brazilian multinational energy company, PETROBRAS, came at number 1. And the Mexican state-owned petroleum company, PEMEX, came at number 2.

Venezuela’s own PDVSA comes at number 3. This is quite a fall from the top post it held for several years.

TOP 10 Source: AméricaEconomía
TOP 10 Source: AméricaEconomía

Venezuela has 19 times more oil reserves than Brazil. In 1998, Venezuela’s oil production more than tripled Brazil’s. Fifteen years later, Brazil doubled its oil production, mostly from deepwater drilling and ultra-deepwater drilling (meaning –respectively- more and WAY more complicated and expensive drilling than our Faja). By 2013, PETROBRAS reports production levels a mere 900 thousand barrels per day below the reported production of PDVSA. And according to the ranking, PETROBRAS still managed to exceed PDVSA’s sales by US$ 13bln.

Venezuela has 26 times more oil reserves than Mexico. Since 1998, Mexico’s oil reserves have fallen by 49%, while Venezuela’s oil reserves grew 292%. In 1998, Mexico and Venezuela had a similar oil production of over 3.4 million barrels per day. Fifteen years later, both countries produce less oil – Mexico, because of aging oil wells, Venezuela, because Rafa. By 2013, PEMEX produced 300 thousand barrels of crude oil per day less than PDVSA. However, according to the ranking, PEMEX sales surpassed PDVSA’s by US$ 6.6bln.

CrudeOilProduction_BrMexVzla_1998-2013For the country with the largest proven oil reserves in the world, facing no huge technological challenge to extract them, after 10 years of rising prices, with no expectations for prices to fall in the near future, and counting one hundred years of experience in the oil business: WE´RE DOING SOMETHING WRONG!

“Potencia Energética”?giphyYou can check more about the results PDVSA registered in 2013 (in Spanish) in the hands of Rafael Ramírez (in English).

And kudos to Brazil and Mexico: not only do they have the top 2 companies in the ranking, but also have 64% of the companies in the ranking: Brazil has 201, and Mexico 118.

Venezuela only has 3, in case you were wondering.