PDVSA@ (Adds details on oil industry, background, analyst's comment)
CARACAS, Nov 26 (Reuters) - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Sunday tapped a major general in the National Guard to head state oil company PDVSA and the OPEC country's oil ministry in what he said was an attempt to clean up the energy industry after a number of corruption scandals.
"The time for a new oil revolution has come," leftist Maduro said in his weekly televised address, urging Major General Manuel Quevedo to purge PDVSA of graft and to boost oil production, improve refineries, and increase local gasoline supplies.
Quevedo, who describes himself on Twitter as a "soldier of the people, a Chavista, and supporter of President Nicolas Maduro," is not a prominent political figure in Venezuela. He is taking over at Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (commonly known as PDVSA) from Nelson Martinez, a chemist by training, and at the Oil Ministry from Eulogio Del Pino, a Stanford-educated engineer.
While the two had overseen a precipitous decline in oil production, oil analysts largely saw them as reassuring figures at a time of more political and military appointments at PDVSA.
It was unclear how Quevedo, a former housing minister, planned to increase oil production, which is near a 30-year low, in the midst of a deep recession and U.S. sanctions that have impeded Venezuela's access to international banks.
Francisco Monaldi, a fellow in Latin American energy policy at the Baker Institute in Houston, opined, "The military has finally achieved its objective of controlling PDVSA." And he said he thought difficulties faced by the country's oil industry would worsen. (Reporting by Alexandra Ulmer; Additional reporting by Deisy Buitrago)