Venezuelan Government Takes Control of Gas Plants
May 22, 2009
The Venezuelan government took control of the PIGAP II plant in Monagas state on Thursday in a series of recent operations aiming at putting such gas compression and injection plants under government control.
The act was part of a program to transfer the control over oil products and services to the Venezuelan state, which began on May 8 with a similar process in Maracaibo Lake in northwest of the country.
The transfer was made at the PIGAP II plant in Monagas state, 512 km to Caracas in the presence of President Hugo Chavez.
This transfer came after the approval of the Organic Law by the National Assembly on May 7, which reserves for the State the products and services of main hydrocarbon activities.
From now on the Venezuelan government controls 103 companies of hydrocarbons through the state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA). With the transfer, the PDVSA also added to its resources 632 pieces of equipment and 8,152 workers.
Venezuelan Energy and Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez said that the PIGAP II plant is part of a complex of many gas compression plants in Jusepin and Furrial, located in Monagas.
U.S. transnational company Williams Companies used to have control over these gas facilities, which can produce 500,000 barrels of oil per day.
"We are exercising our economic sovereignty to build socialism. With this act we replace the private property for the public," Ramirez said in a message broadcast over national TV and radio.
Chavez said that "the PDVSA has paid 1.670 billion U.S. dollars in 10 years (to Williams Companies)" and he said that the government will save some 554 million dollars in the coming 10 years with the transfer.
Chavez ordered to invest the saved money in agricultural projects and the construction of socialist factories.
Monagas has a capacity of 146 million cubic feet of gas per day. Chavez ordered to use 10 percent of the production to meet the power demand in towns and cities of the region.
Monagas is also the main oil entity of Venezuela, with a daily production of 1.4 million barrels.
Venezuela is the first Latin American nations with proved natural gas reserves of 180 trillion cubic feet.
Source: Xinhua News Agency
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