The failed alliance with PDVSA leaves a millionaire struggle
The times of romance were left behind. Venezuela and Ecuador no longer share common goals or development plans. Now they find themselves in the middle of economic struggles and the possibility of an external arbitration.
Petroamazonas and Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) do not reach an agreement on the amount necessary to liquidate the mixed economy company Río Napo. This company, designed by former President Rafael Correa, was in charge of the exploitation of the most productive field in Ecuador: Sacha. After the economic and political crisis of the neighbor led by Nicolás Maduro, Río Napo stopped being profitable and in 2016 it went into liquidation process. That procedure is not over.
As in all divorces, including business, there are debts and amounts receivable. According to Álex Galárraga, general manager of Petroamazonas, Ecuador has paid to date several million dollars for the assets that remained of the liquidation. PDVSA has not paid its share, despite having 30% of the participation of Rio Napo. This participation includes investments, profits, costs and expenses.
Only in 2017, Petroamazonas paid 117.2 million dollars for outstanding accounts with suppliers of the joint venture.
EXPRESO knew that, although the Ecuadorian oil company does not register PDVSA’s contributions for these payments, the Venezuelan company claims 383.8 million dollars for the benefits generated by the exploitation of crude oil. A value that Petroamazonas does not recognize as true.
For Petroamazonas, according to information that this newspaper agreed, after the discounts for unrealized payments, the Venezuelan oil company should not receive more than 80 million dollars. That is to say, between the accounts of Ecuador and those of Venezuela there is a difference of 303 million dollars.
Currently, companies are negotiating a mid-point. A task that is complicated by the huge difference in figures. In this scenario, the arbitration route begins to be the only alternative.
This newspaper consulted with Petroamazonas on the situation. Galárraga said that the country is open to dialogue recognizing the amounts that have been disbursed unilaterally since 2016.
The same concern was brought to PDVSA Ecuador. Despite the emails and phone calls, company staff reported that spokespersons on the subject are on vacation and will return in August to give statements.
The Napo River debacle
On August 25, 2008, the mixed economy company Río Napo was incorporated. A year later, Rafael Correa and the late Hugo Chávez completed the operation of the company in the Sacha field. Now the block will enter into a tender.
According to the Superintendence of Companies, Rio Napo had a subscribed capital of 160 million dollars. 70% of the mixed economy company was in the hands of Ecuador, with Petroamazonas, and the remaining 30% was PDVSA of Venezuela.
For the liquidation to conclude, an environmental examination is still needed. In addition, an inventory of the goods acquired by Rio Napo will be made. These will be passed to Petroamazonas. Then the balance of each shareholder will be reviewed. (I)