PDVSA 2001 Earnings Slip 41% On Lower Oil Prices

Petroleos de Venezuela, the state owned Venezuelan oil company, has said that earnings fell by forty one percent during last year due to the lower oil prices and a decreased output after OPEC member nations cut production.

Net income fell to $4.3 billion from $7.4 billion in the previous year, PDVSA said in a statement. Revenue fell by thirteen percent to $46.2 billion from $53.2 billion.

Earnings at PDVSA, which supplies about forty percent of Venezuelan government revenue and was this year at the center of a struggle between management and President Hugo Chavez over political appointments, were hurt by a drop in prices and production cuts by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. The decline in oil revenue contributed to a slowdown in Venezuela's economic growth and also an increase in the political instability in the South American nation.

The average price per barrel exported fell to $20.21 in 2001 from $25.91 a year earlier. Exports of oil and oil products fell to an average of 2.7 million barrels a day from 2.8 million in a year earlier, the company said.

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