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29

Venezuelan State Oil Firm in Full Growth

PDVSA President presented today the company's audited 2005 financial statements

Rafael Ramirez, the President of Venezuela?s state-owned oil company PDVSA and also Minister of Energy and Petroleum, presented today the company?s audited 2005 financial statements, which, according to the audit, show the company to be generating 44% more profits relative to 2004.

The 2005 financial statement was audited by the consulting and accounting firm KPMG, which, according to Ramirez, found no irregularities.

For Ramirez this meant, ?The operational, financial, and social results are evidence of efficient management and the full social commitment PDVSA had during 2005, which allows us to conclude that we are in the presence of a corporation that is totally recovered and in full growth.?

From December 2002 to January 2003 PDVSA suffered massive losses, due to the opposition's politically motivated shutdown of the oil industry, which practically paralyzed PDVSA for two months, during a combined lockout, sabotage, and work stoppage. At the time, the opposition sought to force President Chavez to resign. In the end, though, over 18,000 PDVSA employees, mostly management, adminsitrative workers, and professionals were fired from the company.