For several weeks, the Venezuela Congress has been examining a bill, which, if passed, would nationalise the country's unexploited oil concessions, putting six million acres under direct government control.
SV Drilling tower, TILT DOWN TO crew securing drill (4 shots)
SV & GV Pumps & tower
GV PAN More Pumps
SV Gas waste flame
SV & GV Men working on new pipe system
SV Bow of boat TILT UP TO rigs on Lake Maracaibo
LV & SV Tower (2 shots)
GV & SV Refining plant on lake (4 shots)
GV & SV See-saw pump, tower (3 shots)
LV Drilling tower
GV PAN Storage tanks & harbour area
SV Creole company building PAN TO GV & SV ships in harbour (2 shots)
SV Deckhands on board ship
SV ship being tied up
GV Esso ship
GV Loading pipes
SV Oil pipes TILT UP TO ships being loaded
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Background: For several weeks, the Venezuela Congress has been examining a bill, which, if passed, would nationalise the country's unexploited oil concessions, putting six million acres under direct government control.
Venezuela is the world's third largest oil producer, and its crude oil and petroleum exports account for well over sixty percent of its foreign earnings. A member of the Organisation of Oil Producing Countries (OPEC), it has, over the last year, been dominant in the high powered politics of the oil business, in moves designed to give it tighter control over profits made from its own oilfields.
Against this background, Visnews Cameraman Carlos Hermides shot this film around the rigs and pumps of the Zuila State fields, the largest in Venezuela. His coverage includes work on the installations and harbour on Lake Maracaibo.
Member countries of OPEC are currently in conference in Vienna, and Venezuela is expected to play a major part in any discussion on new deals offered to oil companies.
SYNOPSIS: Oil - Venezuela's key to a healthy economy. Crude oil and petroleum products account for well over sixty percent of its foreign earnings. At the moment, the government is looking at a bill designed to increase the revenue. Six million acres under concession to foreign countries still remain untapped. The government has plans to nationalise them.
If the bill is passed, nationalisation would take place over the next three years. This is the latest in a series of moves designed to give the country a greater holding in its most valuable natural asset.
In the high-powered politics of the oil business, Venezuela is steering a course that has given it a dominant place among the member countries of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries: OPEC. The organisation is currently in conference in Vienna, and Venezuela is expected to play a major part in any discussion on new deals to be argued out with oil companies. While world demand is increasing, existing sources, like those here, at lake Maracaibo, are being worked to the full. Soon, the companies will want to move further afield. Nationalisation will enable Venezuela to take full advantage of new discoveries when the time comes.
Venezuela's vast resources make it the third largest oil producer in the world, and it exports more than anyone else. Last year, its average production reached well over three and a half million barrels per day. Oil company investment was almost four hundred million dollars. Now, the government is embarking upon new contracts with the companies, based on sharing operations and profits, and it raised the tax on foreign companies last year. It wants to keep tight control over Venezuela's biggest selling commodity.