Venezuela's Chavez Changes PdVSA Board of Directors

CARACAS (Dow Jones Newswires), September 5, 2008

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has overhauled the board of directors of Petroleos de Venezuela SA, bringing in a host of new faces while leaving current Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez at the helm of the company.

Chavez named six new directors in a decision that took immediate effect, the state oil company said in a statement.

Ramirez will remain as the company's president, keeping concurrent top positions at the oil ministry and the company - an arrangement that began in 2004 when he was handed both posts. Chavez swore in the new members, the statement said.

The new members include Hercilio Rivas, who recently served as president of Intevep, the company's research unit; and Carlos Vallejo, who previously served as president of PdVSA's natural gas unit. Ricardo Coronado, who was second in command for exploration and production in western Venezuela, was also appointed as a director.

They were joined by Luis Pulido, who was head of PdVSA's services unit; and Faddi Kabboul, who worked in the Venezuelan embassy in Washington on oil-related topics. Aref Richany Jimenez, an army general who headed the state armament company, was also appointed to a board seat. Current directors remaining on the board are Ivan Orellana and Asdrubal Chavez, who will head the company's refinery operations; Eulogio del Pino, who will now lead the company's exploration and production tasks; and Eudomario Carruyo.

Leaving the board are Luis Vierma, Dester Rodriguez, Jesus Villanueva, Carlos Martinez and Bernard Mommer.

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