Venezuela's PDVSA oil revenue tumbles amid lower prices, production


CARACAS ( Reuters) – Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA’s revenue from oil and fuel sales in 2016 dropped 34 percent from the previous year to $48.0 billion, the company said in its annual financial results published Friday night, hurt by lower production and oil prices.

Net profit crashed nearly 90 percent to $828 million from $7.3 billion the previous year, the company added.

Economists tend to focus on PDVSA’s PDVSA.UL revenue because of its multibillion-dollar contributions to anti-poverty campaigns, which make profit figures less relevant in assessing performance than for private firms.

The OPEC nation, led by unpopular leftist President Nicolas Maduro, has the world’s largest crude reserves, at around 300 billion barrels.

But production has been dropping due to a severe economic crisis, underinvestment, and shortages of basic equipment in oil fields. (Full Story)

PDVSA said average crude oil production, including natural gas liquids dropped to 2.57 million barrels per day, from 2.9 million in 2015. Exports, meanwhile, averaged 2.19 million barrels per day, from 2.4 million the previous year.

The company, the financial motor of Maduro’s government, highlighted that it had brought costs down from 2015.

PDVSA had sought to delay the release of its audited financial statements until Friday, it said in a letter sent to a bank serving as a bond trustee and seen by Reuters this month.

Auditor KPMG signed off on the financial statements by PDVSA, published just before midnight on Friday.

PDVSA highlighted it had made bond payments of about $8.8 billion last year, “despite constant attacks by the right-wing.”

It added that as of year-end 2016, the company had financial debts of nearly $42 billion, or 6 percent less than in 2015.

Reporting by Deisy Buitrago and Alexandra Ulmer; Editing by Girish Gupta and Clarence Fernandez

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