Foreign Policy Blogs

Venezuela’s Own (Gas) Platform Disaster

According to the law of comparative advantage in economics, each country has production advantages in comparison to other states. Venezuela too, has its strengths. It produces more Major League baseball players per capita than most other countries. Along with Puerto Rico, it has won the most Miss Universe crowns over the past two decades. Venezuela is also ranked around #7 in terms of proven oil reserves.

In mid-May the country’s Aban Pearl platform sunk. Apparently the safety mechanisms functioned and there are no ongoing gas leaks. All employees were safely evacuated.

Maybe Venezuela has some kind of comparative advantage when it comes to the sinking of oil or natural gas platforms? Then again, any response is easier in 160 meters of water rather than the 1500-meter depth of BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil drilling platform.

There has been little or no news since the first reports of the loss of the seemingly forgettable Aban Pearl. Meanwhile, daily updates about the ongoing BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico mean that the name Deepwater Horizon will be etched into our collective memory.



David D. Sussman

David D. Sussman is currently a PhD Candidate at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (Tufts University), in Boston, Massachusetts. Serving as a fellow at the Feinstein International Center, he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study the lives of Colombian refugees and economic migrants in Caracas, Venezuela. David has worked on a variety of migrant issues that include the health of displaced persons, domestic resettlement of refugees, and structured labor-migration programs. He holds a Masters in International Relations from the Fletcher School, where he studied the integration of Somali and Salvadoran immigrants. David has a B.A. from Dartmouth College and is fluent in Spanish. He has lived in Colombia, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico and Venezuela, and also traveled throughout Latin America. In his free time David enjoys reading up on international news, playing soccer, cooking arepas, and dancing salsa casino. Areas of Focus: Latin America; Migration; Venezuela.