14 January 2011. Caracas, Venezuela. Williams F1 is delighted to confirm that the Venezuelan energy company, Petroleos de Venezuela S.A (PDVSA) has entered into a long-term partnership with the AT&T Williams team. The agreement was officially announced by the country's President, Mr Hugo Chavez, at a demonstration event of the 2010 Williams Cosworth FW32 at the historic El Paseo de los Proceres in the capital Caracas this afternoon.
PDVSA is Venezuela's national energy company and the world's fifth largest oil exporter. Official sources put production at 3.3 million barrels of oil per day, of which around 750,000 are consumed by Venezuelans. The United States is the largest recipient of PDVSA's petroleum products, importing 1.3 million barrels per day, equivalent to 60% of Venezuela's total exports and 11% of the States' daily consumption. The remainder is exported to the rest of South America and Europe. With 211.1 billion barrels, Venezuela has a number two OPEC ranking of proven oil reserves, second only to Saudi Arabia.
Venezuela has recently diversified its export strategy to destinations in the Far East, predominantly China, which has more than tripled its imports since 2005. In support of its oil activities, the business owns various subsidiaries in the Caribbean and Europe. One of PDVSA's key subsidiaries, CITGO, operates one of the largest networks of filling stations in the United States. At home, PDVSA is also a significant contributor to Venezuelan society, providing education and healthcare facilities among other social support programmes. Between 2004 and 2010, PDVSA contributed $61.4 billion to social development projects across the country.
The partnership will see PDVSA's logo feature across AT&T Williams, including the team's 2011 race car, the Williams Cosworth FW33, and the overalls of its race drivers, Pastor Maldonado and Rubens Barrichello.
The team will also work closely with PDVSA and the Fundacion Pastor Maldonado in the areas of education, road safety and energy efficiency for the wider benefit of Venezuelan society.
Of the new partnership, PDVSA's Director of Corporate Affairs, Mr Julio Gonzalez, commented, "PDVSA is extremely proud to support this partnership and Pastor Maldonado on behalf of our fellow countrymen. Pastor perfectly epitomises our country's passion and discipline, as well as our determination to overcome huge social imbalances. However, we are looking towards building a new, more harmonious and fairer society and become an example to the world. Pastor will fly our flag this year and carry the hopes of an entire country in this new chapter of his career."
Frank Williams, Team Principal of the AT&T Williams team, said, "We are very grateful to PDVSA for having joined our team. They are a substantial partner and can make a meaningful difference to our fighting ability. We are honoured that our new partnership was announced in Venezuela today while showing Pastor's fans the power of a Formula One car. We are especially honoured that President Chavez himself witnessed the demonstration. On behalf of the team, we very much look forward to working with PDVSA and Venezuela and giving them some good results on track."
Adam Parr, Chairman of Williams F1, added: "Getting to know Venezuela over the past few months has been a revelation. We have been given the warmest possible welcome. We have also learnt a great deal. Venezuela plays a vital role in the economies of North and South America, but in addition it is rightly recognised for its staggering and varied natural beauty. Venezuela has Andean peaks, the Amazon, the longest stretch of Caribbean coastline of any nation and the world's highest waterfall, the Angel Falls. We will be proud to represent Venezuela abroad and to work with partners here to promote the welfare and development of the people of this wonderful country."