World Economy

Buying Venezuela Refinery

Buying Venezuela RefineryBuying Venezuela Refinery

US company PBF is buying the Chalmette oil refinery, a “joint venture” between Exxon Mobil and Petroleos de Venezuela SA, Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, NewsNow reported. The sale appears to be, at least in part, an attempt by Venezuela to round up some cash quickly, after the country spent large amounts of its reserves in recent months. As the FT puts it, “The deal, while modest in size, should offer some minor reprieve to Venezuela’s battered coffers.” But a sale like this doesn’t paint a pretty picture for the country’s future, no matter what short-term relief it might bring. As we saw with Greece a few months ago, selling off fixed assets is a one-off move that indicates a country is in long-term trouble. Venezuela’s economy has been in a downward spiral for a while now. This exchange indicates that its chances of pulling out of that spiral are getting increasingly slim. That’s a tragic prospect for a country that should be much richer than it is.