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The Mystery of PDVSA

Experts doubt PDVSA’s preliminary profit figures for last year as the market awaits the company's official 2009 report.


Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA may be Latin America's largest company. Or it may not.  For observers of the region’s corporate numbers, getting updated – and reliable – numbers on the Venezuelan company is increasingly a challenge.

Just at it did last year, PDVSA has again delayed the release of its annual report. In 2008, PDVSA released its annual report in March, but in 2009 it delayed the release until June 7.

The delay stands in contrast to Latin America's other top oil companies.
Mexican state oil company Pemex released its 2009 report on March 1 and Brazilian state oil company Petrobras on March 25. 

PDVSA’s president, Venezuelan oil minister Rafael Ramirez, said last month that the company made a profit of $8 billion last year, but did not reveal revenues figures.

However, leading experts doubt those numbers. Veneconomy publisher Roberto Bottome says the company may have had a profit of only $6 billion, while former PDVSA board member Gustavo Coronel estimates PDVSA may actually have lost money.

According to PDVSA, it made...


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