Electronic Sabatoge of Venezuela Oil Operations

Event Year: 2002 Reliability: Confirmed
Country: Venezuela
Industry Type: Petroleum

In December 2002, PDVSA, Venezuela’s state oil company became embroiled in a bitter strike that saw extensive sabatoge. According to a report in Oil Daily, Ali Rodriguez (the head of the oil company) stated:

  “[...] we have suffered many acts of sabotage at the terminals, the refiners, and even to some well-heads in Lake Maracaibo.  There were even instances of computer hacking which did a lot of damage since much of the operation is centrally controlled by computer.”

Someone, possibly an employee involved in the general strike,  remotely accessed a program terminal to erase all PLC programs in port facility.


This and other physical sabatoge apparently cut Venzuela’s national production down to to 370,000 barrels per day, compared with 3 million barrels before the strike.

Eight hours loss of production.

Unable to load product into waiting tankers.