The New Governance of Venezuelan Oil
Since 1989 Venezuela has been developing a new oil policy, known as Politica Petrolera de Apertura (Oil Opening Policy), or Apertura Petrolera for short. With Apertura Petrolera the Venezuelan oil sector, nationalised in 1976, has been re-opened to private investors. Inviting private investors back may itself be considered a historic voIte-face in Venezuelan oil politics, though the government and the national oil company, Petrbleos de Venezuela (PDV),l argued that this contingency was anticipated in the Nationalisation Law. But a few years later the leadership of the nationd oil company was self-confident enough to admit that the ultimate goal was the privatisation of PDV. Hence Apertura Petrolera involves, without doubt, a major policy shift in the history of Venezuelan oil.