21st Century Democratic Socialism at work:
Venezuela’s Oil Output Decline Accelerates as Drillers Go Unpaid (emphasis added),
Venezuela’s oil output, already the lowest since 2009, is set to slide further this year as contractors scale back drilling after the cash-strapped country fell more than $1 billion behind in payments.
The Latin American nation’s oil production, which generates 95 percent of export revenue, will decline by about 11 percent to 2.1 million barrels a day by the end of the year, Barclays Plc estimates. Output is falling largely because oil-services companies aren’t being paid, according to the International Energy Agency
Venezuela owes US$1.2 billion to Schlumberger, and $756 to Halliburton, while Saipem SpA has idled all but 3 of 28 rigs in the country.
Back in 2002, Hugo Chávez fired 18,000 of PDVSA’s workers – approximately 40% of the workforce for political reasons. Oil production has precipitously declined since.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to weigh Venezuela’s bid to block a lawsuit filed by an American oil drilling company that claims the South American country unlawfully seized 11 drilling rigs six years ago.
The high court will review a May 2015 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that allowed one of the claims made by Oklahoma-based Helmerich & Payne International Drilling Company to move forward.
The company sued both the Venezuelan government and state-owned oil companies under a U.S. law called the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, saying among other things that the property seizure violated international law.
Helmerich had long provided drilling services for the Venezuelan government. The company disassembled its rigs in 2009 after Venezuela had failed to pay $100 million in bills. In response, Venezuela’s government seized the properties, which were still in the country. Then-President Hugo Chavez ordered the seizure, saying the rigs could be used by the government-owned companies.