No more refineries, no petrochemicals, no gasoline subsidy

The most valuable product is oil, as it is, with nothing added, since everything that is added as export value does not correspond to the scale of industrial civilization that we have. What we are going to achieve is to make the product more expensive and ultimately earn less. That is the current and past experience.

The statement is made by Juan Pablo Pérez Alfonzo, founder of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, in the interview granted in 1976 to the journalist Iván Loscher, reflected in the book entitled Alternatives.

The author of the text explained Devil's excrement that “Each barrel of crude oil exported produces more per unit to the country, than the barrel transformed into various petrochemical products, because all the processes of splitting the crude demand a technology poorly assimilated by us, except that, in principle, when you have a raw material that in its entirety is used by the consumer, in this case a country, it is preferable to send it so that it is the same consumer who breaks it down according to their needs, and not send it already prepared.

Loscher immediately asks the author of the Oil Pentagon: “Shouldn't petrochemicals then be used in the production of export products?

To which the person who was a professor at the UCV and Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons between 1959 and 1963 responds: “More than the refineries were ruled out. In September 1975, on the occasion of giving some statements to the press, I said that how could we play with petrochemicals in El Tablazo, if we still couldn't handle Morón?

Ivan Loscher: Technological dependence is total

PA: Total! Therefore, it is artificial. But even if we did not discuss that, but started assuming that we have a complete petrochemical plant, without bringing in outsiders, technicians, specialists, this petrochemical plant disappears, it rusts, as it is rusting, due to lack of maintenance.

IL: And for your own supply?

PA: It could be and for first decomposition products. Not the whole scale. But a petrochemical similar to these refineries of ours, primary. To fill gaps in some markets, as these are not fully balanced. Always with a view to satisfying the imbalances of the oil market. Petrochemistry is a very complex science that arises in countries that have a whole series of complementary sciences that do not exist here. Why rely heavily on them, if we don't know anything about it? It is not enough to send petrochemical scientists to "manufacture" elsewhere, thinking that there is the great solution. Our problem is that we always think that money can solve everything.

IL: We pay for oil products at subsidized prices. Do you think that we should pay for them at international prices?

PA: I think so, because the international price of oil derivatives means the level set by world consumers. It is not justified that we keep the consumption of an exhaustible resource at lower prices. We should moderate our consumption of the privileged and this is one way to do it.

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