No more than two million barrels per day

The renewed Venezuelan desires to go to work as a source of wealth could find brakes and even setbacks in the vaunted and painful indicator installed in the collective imagination of achieving the highest possible oil production at all costs.

That of producing and producing more oil has its foothold in the Venezuela of the first place in the world as the first oil exporter, a phrase that expresses the always sneaky intentions of the industrialized countries to fill their tanks with cheap gasoline.

Let's back up. Our economic history marked by the imposition of the quasi monodependence of some few agricultural and natural resources, has subjected the country to the high and low income of foreign exchange obtained from the corresponding quasi mono-exports.

Whether for cocoa, coffee, oil, the abundance of foreign exchange for exports has been translated into overvalued exchange rates, cheap pesos or dollars, which have been in charge of cementing an importing commercial bourgeoisie, product of a socio-economic model that crushes all attempts for raising an autochthonous and genuine national production, to the extent of rendering it incapable of assimilating the high mass of foreign exchange into productive investments.

The result of such currency intoxication has been “Los botaratas”, as Rómulo Betancourt put it; “The cheap ones, give me two”, during the first government of Carlos Andrés Pérez; “Los raspacupos”, in the period of President Hugo Chávez. The BCV registers that only in deposits and in currencies, Venezuelans have, at the end of 2019, more than 133.000 million dollars.  

But the big beneficiaries have been the oil companies themselves, the corrupt ones, and the international financial system, all skilled in maneuvers to make the dollars paid for raw materials, oil, return to their boxes; and more than once "the banks deceived us" by making governments ask for loans when they did not need them; Well, when they are already broke and they do need them, the IMF appears.

In his own way, Pérez Alfonzo said "Enough of the oil." The founder of OPEC affirmed that to the extent that we invest in exploration and successfully manage to bring new oil reserves to the sales counter, to the same extent it becomes more difficult to reduce production and put the ceiling on oil revenues.

He thus questioned that, under the imaginary, the phrase of producing and producing more, as a synonym of abundance and efficiency, had become recurrent in the political discourse of the oil ministers of some of the Democratic Action and Copei governments, to express to the US authorities that Venezuela was a safe and reliable supplier of oil.

Hard to crack, the thesis of more production was pronounced by Luis Giusti, who was president of the industry between 1994 and 1998, later an advisor to Shell, who during his Oil Opening included in the PDVSA plans to raise production to 6 million barrels per day.

And it didn't stay there. The government program of Henrique Capriles, when he was a candidate for the Democratic Unity Table, also proposed bringing production to 6 million barrels per day.

And the plans of the Homeland 2013-2019 and 2019-2025, made laws, societal programs of the Bolivarian movement, do their thing with the same figure of 6 million barrels per day: the first sets it as a goal for 2019 and the second for 2025 , thus showing how much PDVSA's culture of "reliable and safe supplier" dominates the industry.

The proposal is that Venezuela should not exceed two million barrels a day, as a sign of its attention and understanding of the need to abolish poverty and fight environmental problems exacerbated by the systemic crisis of neoliberalism.

The proposal was already exposed in the article Producing more oil stunts development and destroys the environment, written in this medium on August 26, 2020. Subsequently, the president of Mexico, Luis Manuel López Obrador, raised a similar production thesis on August 26, 2021.

The two million barrels per day satisfy the average capacity of the national refining plant, respond to the country's foreign exchange requirements and meet the unavoidable commitments of external supplies already acquired.

The national refining capacity is 1,3 million barrels, but no refining plant works at 100%, for which an average of 60% can be taken, equivalent to 780 thousand barrels. 1.220 thousand barrels of crude oil would be available to meet external commitments.

The current economic boost, when production has been below a million barrels per day, shows that the country requires less oil foreign exchange to raise its indicators, even though it is obvious that the State requires foreign exchange to raise salaries and meet education expenses. , health and judicial system, because without the strength of these three sectors there is no possible country project; dies before being born.  

 The more production, more dependence on imports, more destruction of the national industry establishment, more ecocides, more waste, more corruption. The idea is to produce less and less because we are achieving strong and diversified industrial development, which makes us less dependent on hydrocarbons every day.

The antineoliberal thesis is to produce less and less oil. The economy must respond and be linked, then, to the pragmatic assessment of environmental and economic indicators that show respect for our immense and beautiful biological diversity, that income from the export of items other than hydrocarbons is strengthened, as well as growth power of exchange and consumption of the population of products generated by the national industry.


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