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Reuters reported that PDVSA’s refinery on the island of Curacao has been seized by ConocoPhillips, following a ruling in favour of the Houston-based oil giant to the tune of $2 billion. The ruling was handed out by the International Chamber of Commerce earlier this week. The ruling came after the U.S.company sued PDVSA over the nationalization of its assets in Venezuela in 2007.

According to Reuters, ConocoPhillips seized PDVSA’s Isla refinery on the island on Thursday. The refinery pumped out 335,000 barrels of oil per day, but had not received any shipments from Venezuela this week as PDVSA anticipated the seize of its assets. The news organization quoted a source familiar with the case as saying:

The seizure in Curacao was enforced on Thursday, so the inventories’ custody was transferred. The refinery will eventually stop (operations).

Reuters also reported that PDVSA is in contingency mode over the possibility that ConocoPhillips will seize more of its assets abroad. As a result, the company is advising clients to send their own ships to pick up oil in Venezuela:

PDVSA has told customers they must send their own ships to pick up oil cargoes in Venezuelan waters, rather than wait for it to deliver. That keeps PDVSA’s ships out of Conoco’s grasp.

PDVSA, which was already struggling to export its oil amid falling output and a lack of maintenance, is looking for a place in Venezuelan waters to start transferring oil from small to larger tankers, which is typically done for large cargoes bound for Asian destinations.

Maduro Campaigns in Apure State

Just one week away from the eve of the presidential election, Maduro held a campaign rally in Apure state this afternoon. During the event, Maduro led the crowd of supporters in a chant that he says “we have been singing during the campaign”. According to Maduro, the chant goes:

For the Revolution and for Maduro, you, you, and only you matter, no one else but you.

In a display of self-aggrandizing that has become normal for Maduro on the campaign trail, he also spoke about some of his virtues and from whom he learned them. Maduro said:

I learned everything from Chavez. I learned about being loyal to the people. I learned to love the people above everything else. I learned to love Christ our lord and redeemer… and I learned to become interested in everyone’s problems. Because the collective, the people, have problems and we have to deal with them in a collective manner. And every one of you should be attended.

After saying that chavismo is like “a family”, Maduro attempted to speak to every individual in the audience by saying:

I consider you my brother..You, my sister. You, the elderly, I consider to be my parents. We chavistas are a family. We are the true people. That’s what the world has to understand. That’s what we have to make the world understand: that chavismo is a majority in Venezuela, and that Venezuelan must be respected.

Collaborative Project to be Released Tomorrow

Over the past four months, I have been working on a collaborative project with Bellingcat and Forensic Architecture that is being released in Venezuela by our media partners, Efecto Cocuyo, Armando.Info and El Pitazo.

The project has been four months in the making, and is the largest that I have conducted in connection to this website. Over the past few weeks–and in the last one in particular–this project has taken up virtually all of my time, which is the reason why this week’s daily updates have been shorter and less-developed than normal.

Look for the project to drop on my partners’ websites (or this one!) tomorrow morning.


Questions/Comments? E-mail me: invenezuelablog@gmail.coim

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