The shortage of fuel has created a crisis in most of the cities in venezuela, with the notable exception of its capital, Caracas. In Valencia, Barquisimeto, Merida, Puerto Ordaz, Trujillo, and even in enclaves of oil-known as Anaco, El Tigre, Maracaibo and Cabimas, fill the tank of a car can take a whole day in a mile long row. Or two. In San Cristobal, on the border with Colombia, the wait is up to four days.
The delay of four cargo ships, two russians and two indians, has been the straw that has filled the vessel in which he was one of the great producing nations of energy. Petróleos de Venezuela, which previously exported bulk fuel and derivatives, you can now only supply 10% of the national market. The company is necrosada by the waste and corruption it suffered during the years of chavismo. The state-owned company has had to make use of some inventory in reserve, not too large, to cope with the crisis in the capital.
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To be filled of fuel in Venezuela is to be filed in the service stations a day before, about noon. This is the start of waiting in line, which usually continues until well into the night. Those who do not wish to sleep inside the car are removed, seeking to “mark the place” with trunks or stones and arrange the cars, neighbors, the validity of the location.
Carlos Bartolozzi, resident engineer in Puerto Ordaz, states that what comes after is to show up early in the morning and wait for the arrival of the truck cargo that arrives a few hours later, around noon. Usually await four additional hours to be attended to. Some governors of the states have assigned users to two fixed days of the week to refuel, according to the number with which it ends the plate of the car. “The trucks do not always arrive with a full tank. Those tanks have a capacity of 30,000 litres and we have known that come up with 9,000 or 10,000 litres,” says Bartolozzi.
No one guarantee that, after the long experience, the user can fill the tank. "There are people who sell the best seats at 200,000 bolivars (about four dollars) and people selling petrol illegally,” says Alfredo Saad, also a resident in Puerto Ordaz. Who is surprised with gallons of gasoline faces the possibility of going to jail.
The u.s. sanctions on the Government of Nicolas Maduro, complicating the purchase of fuel on the outside. The academic Rafael Quiroz explains that this type of transactions are performed on the high seas in an encrypted manner. Russia and China provide succor to Mature, but many of their oil companies does not want to take the risk before the Administration of Donald Trump. “PDVSA is making exchanges of oil for petrol to keep the market, although it remains loss-making,” adds Quiroz.
Francisco Monaldi, an economist expert in oil, of the opinion that the critical current situation is conjure half as soon as they arrive the tankers waiting. In the last two years, it is usual that the gas is in short supply in the border areas with Colombia, where it is extracted illegally for resale, and in the mining areas of the south of the country, whose precise activity of the fuel. This happens with the complicity and collaboration of members of the Armed Forces. Monaldi and also Quiroz predict that at these peak shortage will be repeated in the medium term.
The situation of PDVSA, the once powerful state energy, is a disaster. Its giant refineries are not maintained and there are many industrial accidents. The company is grossly in debt from the years of Mature. The country's oil production, historically of 3 million barrels of crude oil daily, has now reached 700,000. In recent months, the country has managed to skim the dimension of one million barrels, but, as it clarifies Monaldi, thanks to the use of inventories that were not able to be placed in the international market because of u.s. sanctions.
Monaldi also notes that Venezuela, the country that more fuel was consumed in Latin America –approximately 400,000 barrels per day in the 90's - now demand to be about 130,000, which is below the regional average. The management of the fuel represents a huge drain to a state bankrupt. “The country has to import now to 100,000 barrels a day of gasoline, an average of 240 million dollars a month”, to be placed on cars, which will be technically gifted because the Maduro administration is still reluctant to increase the price. Venezuela is the country with the cheapest gas in the world. A gallon of fuel costs 0.004 dollars.
“I have half a tank, but I came because it is already the new year, I am hearing that the situation in the interior is horrible and I want to be quiet these days,” says Lucia Castejon at a service station in Chauo, to the east of Caracas. “If this continues there is nothing unlikely that the consumption of gasoline is also dolarice. People will pay what it costs for it. There are sectors that are very sensitive of the economy that need gasoline,” says Monaldi. The Maduro administration has made a desperate effort to attract private producers, and at the moment, there has been a slight improvement in the production. The sanctions of the united States, however, that the effectiveness of this effort to be difficult.Updated Date: 01 January 2020, 04:00