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10/16/08

Venezuela and the oil price and supplies and stuff...and Bloomberg nails the story

Scuse me while I kiss the sky

As could only be expected, the shouts of "Venezuela is going bankrupt hooray hooray" are doing the rounds again, what with WTI at $75/bbl right now. As your diligent Otto pointed out in this post, Venezuela isn't going bankrupt any time soon. When WTI hits $60/bbl, give me a call and we can run the numbers again, but until it does the chatter is just so much hype from people who care more about their own politics than they do about society. By the way, note that serious voices agreed with my call a posteriori.

Meanwhile, credit where credit is due; I recently pulled Matthew Walter of Bloomberg Venezuela apart for writing crap (his editors let it pass, so they need the finger pointed at them, too). However Walter has just published this report that picked up on a Vz gov't communique from yesterday, crunched it nicely and (apart from the 2.36Mbpd figure used by Bloomie that they cream from the EIA and is a crock...but that's not Walter's charge) hits the nail on the head.

It's a very good piece of reporting by Walter because it lays out the growing relationship between Russia and Venezuela without lapsing into a shrill voice. It points to the growth in VZ oil exports to China. It also notes that, according to the H-man himself, Venezuela is currently subsidizing 300,000bbl/d of oil for its less developed neighbors (the Petrocaribe initiative, etc). The 300Kbbl/d number was a fair guesstimate that was doing the rounds but it just got a lot more weight thanks to the Chávez confirmation.

This is what we want from pro-journalists: Sharp, concise reports that lay out the facts and lay off the hype. Good job, Matthew Walter: Is it too much to ask that this standard is kept?