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International Executives Affirm Interest in PDVSA Business Activities

HOUSTON, May 5, 2003 -- A group of more than 400 business executives and leaders in the financial, governmental and academic sectors participated in the conference "PDVSA, a Competitive and Sustainable Player in the International Energy Business," held by the Venezuelan oil corporation today in Houston.

The event was led by a high level Venezuelan delegation headed by Mr. Bernardo Alvarez, Ambassador from Venezuela to the United States; Mr. Luis Vierma, Deputy Minister of Hydrocarbons; Dr. Ali Rodriguez Araque, President of PDVSA; and Mr. Luis Marin, Director of PDVSA.

The host group offered details of the political, legal and financial situation of Venezuela and its oil industry. The country's current production exceeds 3 million barrels daily and is expected to increase to around 5 million barrels daily by the year 2008, within the framework of a business portfolio that requires an investment of $43 billion during the next five years. Of this amount, PDVSA will contribute 54 percent, while the remaining 46 percent will be covered by the domestic and international private sector.

"We are very satisfied by the large audience of important personalities of the business and governmental sectors that responded to our invitation," emphasized Ambassador Alvarez. "This confirms the interest and trust of the international community in the business opportunities offered by Venezuela and, specifically, our oil industry. We took advantage of the occasion to reiterate our wish to strengthen the position of Venezuela as a commercial and energy partner of the United States and other countries."

In his turn, the Deputy Minister of Hydrocarbons, Mr. Luis Vierma, stated, "The continuing interest of international companies in investing in the Venezuelan oil and gas industry proves that the country offers an attractive and consistent legal framework. The new Hydrocarbons Law allows the participation of private capital in upstream activities up to 49 percent, and up to 100 percent in the downstream hydrocarbon business, gas, charcoal, Orimulsion(R) and petrochemicals."

The President of PDVSA, Mr. Ali Rodriguez Araque, emphasized that "according to the best specialized information sources, oil demand will rise from 76 million barrels per day at the present time to 89 million barrels per day in 2010 and 103 million barrels per day between 2020 and 2030." He also offered an overview of the recent crisis of the Venezuelan oil corporation, which was affected by a work stoppage unprecedented in its history.

"Despite this problem, PDVSA has proved such impressive recovery capability that today the production, refining and international trade operations are fully normalized," said Mr. Rodriguez Araque. "This allowed us to cancel the force majeure statement in all sectors of our activity. Now, our efforts are focused in consolidating these results, which demonstrate our success, while reviving our reputation as a safe, competitive and reliable supplier in the international energy market." :: Boceto
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