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Mar 26 2017

Gasoline Shortage in Oil-Saturated Venezuela

Milton Friedman sure had this right:

milton friedman shortage sand sahara

Presumably he wasn’t referring exclusively to the U.S. federal government, but to any gang of coercive oligarchical collectivists — like the one running socialist Venezuela, home to the largest proven oil reserves in the world. Speaking of which:

Venezuela’s state oil company was rushing to replenish gasoline supplies in various neighborhoods of Caracas on Thursday as drivers lined up at filling stations amid a worsening shortage of fuel.

While Petroleos de Venezuela SA says the situation is normalizing and blamed the lines on transport delays, the opposition says the company has had to reduce costly fuel imports as it tries to preserve cash to pay its foreign debt. …

As the company’s crumbling refineries fail to meet domestic demand, imports have become a financial burden because the country buys fuel abroad at market prices only to sell it for pennies per gallon at home. PDVSA, as the state-run producer is known, has been reducing the money-losing imports as it prepares for $2 billion in bond payments due next month, said Jose Brito, an opposition lawmaker on the National Assembly’s oil commission.

“They’re not importing enough because they are saving up to pay the debt,” he said in a telephone interview. …

Venezuela has been forced to increase imports of finished gasoline and components over the past years as its refinery utilization rates declined because of deteriorating infrastructure and under-investment. The country imported about 75,000 barrels a day of refined products from the U.S. in 2016, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Privatizing the oil industry would solve the problem quickly. But rolling back Big Government is easier said than done.

If socialists ever take over the North Pole, there really will be a shortage of ice up there, just as foretold by Al Gore.

On a tip from Torcer.



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