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Venezuela’s oil company PDVSA appears to be in shambles for most observers but besides managing to boost its oil production last month, the state firm is still offering yoga, guitar, and dance lessons to employees, Bloomberg reports. To top it all, the division also offers workshops in the management of a socially responsible business.
Amid an exodus of millions of Venezuelans, including PDVSA employees, to neighboring countries, the cultural arm of the company is still active under the management of the wife of the Venezuelan oil minister.
“The pain is felt by the people, but not the people at the top,” an executive from Florida-based Caracas Capital Markets told Bloomberg’s Peter Millard and Fabiola Zerpa. “If they were not in charge with an iron grip, they’d be in jail. They have access to dollars so they can live a good life while the rest of the country starves or leaves.”
In fact, the activities offered by the PDVSA cultural arm are open to all but most of Venezuela’s ordinary people are probably too busy solving their problems stemming from shortages of basic goods including food and fuel.
Since 2015, about 4.5 million people have fled Venezuela, official data from the UN reveals. Migration could top 5 million soon, the UN and the EU warned in October, adding most of these migrants crossed Venezuela’s borders illegally because they had no papers. This is putting pressure on the troubled country’s neighbors as the new migrants require long-term support, the UN’s special representative of refugee and migration agencies said.
In the meantime, however, PDVSA is struggling on. Earlier this week unnamed sources told Reuters oil production at the company had rebounded to 926,000-965,000 bpd in November, up 20 percent from a month earlier. Exports were even higher, topping 1 million bpd, the sources, as well as shipping data, revealed.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.