Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA, ) (Petroleum of Venezuela) is the Venezuelan state-owned oil and natural gas company. It has activities in exploration, production, refining and exporting oil, as well as exploration and production of natural gas. Since its founding on 1 January 1976 with the nationalization of the Venezuelan oil industry, PDVSA has dominated the oil industry of Venezuela, the world's fifth largest oil exporter.
Oil reserves in Venezuela are the largest in the world, and the state-owned PDVSA provides the government of Venezuela with substantial funding resources. The government of Venezuela treats PDVSA as a cash-cow, and the company only hires political supporters of the president. Between 2004 and 2010 PDVSA contributed $61.4 billion to the government's social development projects. Around half of this went directly to various Bolivarian Missions, with the remainder distributed via the National Development Fund. Incompetence has led to serious inefficiencies and accidents.