Yes, it’s Sunday afternoon, the cable TV newschannels are the new Weather Channel, and all the American blogs, big and small, are totally and completerly focused on Obama and Palin.
Which is why you’re here. Thank you!
Via Kate, here’s a big bit of news that’s gone unnoticed: PDVSA’s going broke. Yes, that PDVSA – Hugo Chavez’s cash cow.
Broke enough that they need foreign capital to do routine maintenance and upkeep to their infrastructure.
Pdvsa to get USD 1.2 billion loan from a Japanese bank (emphasis added):
Venezuela signed an agreement for a USD 1.2 billion loan from the Japanese Bank of International Cooperation (JBIC) that will allow the state-owned oil company Petróleos de Venezuela (Pdvsa) to finance the upgrades at refineries El Palito, central Carabobo state, and Puerto La Cruz, eastern Anzoátegui state.
Rafael Ramírez, the Venezuelan Petroleum and Energy Minister and president of Pdvsa, announced the financial operation to Dow Jones, on the fringes of his participation in the 149th Ordinary Meeting of the Conference of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries held in Vienna.
The funds received by the state oil company will be used to purchase part of the equipments necessary for the modernization project of both refineries, which has taken some years to be implemented.
Pdvsa had already requested earlier this year a loan from two Japanese companies, including Itochu Corporation, for the same purpose. In that case, Pdvsa had applied for a USD 3,5 billion loan to buy equipments and infrastructure. Eudomario Carruyo, Pdvsa’s Finance Director said in June that negotiations were still ongoing, but there were not concrete results at that moment.
In 2007 Pdvsa has accumulated more than USD 12 billion in new debt, including the issuance of USD 7.5 billion bonds in the domestic market, a credit line of USD 1 billion with the French bank BNP Paribas and a USD 3.5 billion financing agreement and long-term oil off-taking agreement with Marubeni Corporation and Mitsui & Co., Ltd. of Japan.
Let that sink for a moment, and ponder what the squandering’s been like that PDVSA’s $12 billion in debt since last year, while oil hit record highs.