"The Petroleum Pentagon" de Juan Pablo Pérez Alfonzo, traducido al inglés.

Por Venezuela Real - 26 de Diciembre, 2006, 11:56, Categoría: Petróleo/Energía

Un libro publicado originalmente en 1967 y traducido recientemente al inglés, continúa siendo lectura obligada para los interesados en concocer el pensamiento de Juan Pablo Pérez Alfonso, sus implicaciones en la política energética del país y sus relaciones con la OPEP.

Juan Pablo Perez-Castillo
Washington DC
December 25, 2006

I have recently received a book published by OPEC that may be of interest to  ENATRES for review and to its members, since it presents the oil policy (philosophical and operational rationale) of the architect and principal founder (also known as father) of OPEC, Juan Pablo Perez-Alfonzo.

The book,  The Petroleum Pentagon, (184 pp), was originally published in Spanish, in Caracas, 1967 and has been translated into English under the auspices of then Secretary General of OPEC, Alvaro Silva-Calderon, a close friend and disciple of Perez-Alfonzo.

Although only one of his many books, it is the only one  available in English expressing his main thoughts about oil, Venezuela, OPEC and the world.  The Foreword was writtren by Silva-Calderon, the translation was done by Karen Sturges-Vera and Douglas Linton edited the translation.  The portions of the book that I have read enable me to conclude that it is a relatively good and faithful expression of the Spanish original.   I do not know if OPEC sells the book or provides it free of charge.

Table of Contents

    Development of petroleum policy
    Fair Share
    Coordinating Commission for the Conservation and Commerce of Hydrocarbons
    Venezuelan Petroleum Corporation  
    The principle of No More Concessions
    Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)

    The Petroleum Pentagon
    Economic Dependence
    Reform of 1943 and Decree No. 112 of 1945
    Lesson and Warning for the Democracy--events and results of the tax reform
    Tax Reform

For those wondering why the title Petroleum Pentagon, on p. 71 he writes--

"To evaluate the Petroleum Pentagon it is indispensable to know the goals and ends that it seeks.  It deals with synthesizing the oil policy and its action on different fronts.  The graph that presents it is able to quickly show the breath and complexity of such a vital and coveted perishable natural resource.  It does not try, then, to contain the discussion and analysis of the oil policy in a rigid framework of five sides, determined by the five key elements that were chosen as a synthesis of that policy.  The Petroleum, Pentagon holds whatever is of interest to Venezuelans and whatever is related to this collective wealth, because the angles of the Pentagon and the crossing of the lines of action it suggests are intended to highlight what is related to the subject, rather than constraining or limiting it.......(further on the same page)......if the Pentagon were for increasing all that suits us, (reserves, recuperation, value, exploitation and national share), in reality it would remain empty because it would be like an attempt to fill it with the simple air of natural aspiration.  More and more of what we want is not necessary to say it."

We might summarize the 5 main aspects of his oil policy as follows--
(1) obtaining a fair share for the nation--need to integrate oil into the nation;
(2) conservation of petroleum--need to extract and utilize oil with maximum efficiency;
(3) no more concessions--need to reduce dependence on oil;
(4) Venezuela Petroleum Corporation--need to internalize operation of the industry;
(5) OPEC--synthesis of the previous four angles: need to coordinate  rational production and consumption of oil worldwide.

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