A curious announcement in The Tehran Times: “Tehran, Caracas to ink $2 billion oil deal soon“ (29 May, web 30 May) followed on the heels of my exposé about this relationship that was published just two weeks prior. The Tehran Times’ piece was brought to my attention by James Bourne, Senior Latin American Editor at Energy Intelligence NYC, who requested a comment. Energy Intelligence has kindly provided GlobalBarrel.com a PDF of Bourne’s piece in their subscriber-only Oil Daily of 31 May, which you can read at this link:Skeptics_Cast_Doubt_on_Iran-Venezuela_Upstream_Project
In my MEES article, I had shown how all attempts since 2005 by Iranians to work in Venezuela´s oil-and-gas sector have failed save one: a cash-strapped venture that I was told Petropars was willing to sell if PDVSA would allow it. This exposé has circulated in the Middle East and in Venezuela in Spanish in PetroleumWorld.com, (My thanks to editor Elio Ohep for the translation). Whether The Tehran Times claim was actually in response or not is of course not the important issue. However, what I am quite sure of is that this announcement is merely geopolitical posturing–not only to make the world believe all is well in the failed energy relationship of Tehran and Caracas, but, also to bolster the spirits of honest employees at PDVSA and Petropars in Venezuela who already know full well PDVSA’s sorry state of technical and managerial affairs without reading about it in an article, as they live it every day.