The Policy Process in a Petro-state

The high degree of international vertical integration achieved by the Venezuela state oil enterprise, Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA), has placed it among the most important oil multinationals. The policy of creating downstream outlets through the establishment of foreign direct investment in the form of refinery assets was given the term internationalization . Besides enabling PDVSA to expand market share and gain access to specific know-how, the internationalization policy provided industry policy-makers with a way of maximizing corporate decision-making freedom, farther away from the government's financial demands and Congress meddling. Venezuela offers a unique case and thus fertile ground for study of oil policy-making processes. By analyzing PDVSA's internationalization policy, this book explores the difficulties encountered by a major SOE in its efforts to grow beyond national borders. The study focuses on the impact of democratic bargaining on the process of oil policy-making in Venezuela, stressing the constraints posed by politics on PDVSA's efforts to expand its foreign operations. The book also looks at the relationship between the oil industry and the other two key decision-making centres involved in the oil policy-making process, the executive and Congress. In exploring the ways in which each one of them sought to influence policy outcome, the study provides insight into the main factors that prompted the tensions among the policy actors involved.