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PDVSA: The Quito Decree: Base Of The Current Mining And Hydrocarbons Law Of Venezuela


On October 24, 1829, the Liberator Simón Bolívar, promulgated a Decree that allowed the nascent Latin American republics the sovereign management of the immense mineral wealth arranged in their territory, which had been stripped from the subsoil for centuries by the European kingdoms. .

The so-called Decree of Quito establishes that the ownership of the mines no longer belonged to the Spanish crown: “According to the laws, the mines of any kind correspond to the Republic.”

In this way, the “Ordinances for Mining for New Spain” were left behind, through which the ownership of the mines, and any other wealth that emanated from the land, was assigned to the Spanish crown.

It also expresses the need to promote scientific knowledge of mining and mechanics, and spread the spirit of association and enterprise, “so that mining reaches the high degree of perfection that is needed for the prosperity of the State.”


The Quito Decree is the starting point of the State’s energy policy, of the statutes of the National Constitution and of the Hydrocarbons Law, in which it is stated that the mining and hydrocarbon deposits, regardless of their nature, belong to the Republic and are in the public domain, thus ratifying the Sovereignty of Venezuela, and preventing the management of our wealth by transnational interests. Since Commander Hugo Chavez assumed the presidency of Venezuela in 1999, he put into action his fully Bolivarian vision of the strategic and essential nature of control of oil activity for the economic and social development of the country.

One of the first actions to take control over the oil industry was reflected in the constitutional process, by establishing in the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic, in its articles 12, 302 and 303, the reservation of the primary activities of the oil industry to Venezuelan State, and Petróleos de Venezuela, SA (PDVSA) as the national operator 100% owned by the Republic.

The legacy inherited from the Eternal Commander, Hugo Chávez, and continued by our Workers’ President, Nicolás Maduro, maintains the premise that the income received by the country as a product of the commercialization of our energy goods, be invested in health and educational policies, in order to link our oil wealth to economic development, for the welfare of the people, as indicated by the Hydrocarbons Law.

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