A POLITICAL SETBACK IN VENEZUELA

A rift between Venezuela's Ministry of Energy and Mines and the state oil company could cause trouble beyond the country's borders. The oil industry should watch this squabble closely. It seems the ministry has decided to cut Pdvsa down to obedient size. A recent order, unprecedented in the state company's history, requires Pdvsa to submit for ministry approval all decisions in a range of operating matters. The effect is a major shift of power from technocrats to politicians.

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