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December 2018

Breaking: PDVSA partners with Harry Sargeant to ramp up oil output

Sources in Venezuela report that PDVSA has entered into a service agreement with an American company, allegedly controlled by Harry Sargeant. While no formal announcement has been made, chavista source Aporrea informed on Thursday that PDVSA had penned 14 new deals to ramp up production by 1.025 MBD in 14 different fields, as previously announced by this site back in August.

Venezuela's corrupt jockey for position

Solutions to Venezuela's miserable situation are, to put it decently, like belly buttons. This navel-gazing seems to be the pastime of choice of hasbeens, or batequebra'os as known in Venezuela. Rafael Ramirez, for instance, despite having squandered over one trillion USD, would like the world to see him as the potential saviour of Hugo Chavez's legacy, as if Venezuela hasn't suffered enough his corruption and the wretched chavista experiment. Then there's Luisa Ortega Diaz.

Acceleration of 2034 bond spells years of legal battles for already battered Venezuela

Ten days ago I had a conversation with a source, well versed on bonds stuff. He said a few institutional investors were going to court to trigger acceleration clause on the 2034 bond, for defaulting on payment. Today Reuters posted news about this, quoting a representative of a "group of creditors" (lawyer Mark Stancil with Washington DC firm Robbins Russell) seeking payment on $1.5 billion.

Transition in Venezuela? No chance.

There's a lot of talk lately about transition in Venezuela, given that Nicolas Maduro's term ends 10 January 2019. Most observers realised a long time ago the need to replace the chavista model, ideally with some kind of workable system of governance -controlled by the opposition- that could implement immediate changes to the economy, which in turn, considering the amount of oil reserves that Venezuela claims to have, would turn the country into a Mecca of foreign direct investment.

Antonino Maggiore should look into Rafael Ramirez's tax returns

Not a secret that Al Capone got done for tax evasion. Neither that Italy's Agenzia delle Entrate launched a rather spectacular probe into Dolce & Gabbana international operations due to alleged tax evasion. So what about Rafael Ramirez? Sources repeatedly place Ramirez, wife Beatrice Sanso, and brother in law Baldo Sanso as residents in Italy. Our own investigation found details of Baldo Sanso's ex wife and son living in Rome, as well as tax identification cards related to Ramirez, Beatrice and Baldo.

Sources: Swiss court rules for PDVSA in criminal case against Helsinge

A penal court in Geneva has ruled in favour of PDVSA in case brought against Helsinge, according to sources. A criminal investigation was launched in early March this year, following complaint filed on 13 February with Geneva's Public Prosecutor's Office by Swiss law firm Canonica Valticos de Preux. It remains to be seen how the ruling will affect energy trading houses Glencore, Trafigura, Vitol, Lukoil and others involved with Helsinge, and indeed the Florida case of PDVSA US litigation Trust.