Francisco Parra

August 30, 1929December 16, 2020

Francisco Parra 1929 - 2020

Francisco Parra, noted Venezuelan petroleum economist, passed away at his home in East Orleans, Massachusetts on December 16, 2020.

Francisco (“Frank” to family, friends, and colleagues) was born on August 30, 1929 in Caracas, Venezuela. During World War II, he attended Ruthin School, in North Wales, where he had been sent by his father, then Consul General of Venezuela in nearby Liverpool. Frank graduated from the University of Geneva in 1950 with a degree in political science. At the University, Frank met Erica Payson, who was there on a junior year abroad from Smith College. They married in 1950.

Frank began his career as an economist with Creole Petroleum Corporation in1950, working there until 1960. Between 1960 and 1967, he served successively as a consultant with Arthur D. Little, Inc. and as economic adviser at the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries—OPEC. In 1968, he was appointed Secretary General of OPEC.

Between 1969 and 1976, Frank was partner in the Caracas and London consulting firm Parra, Ramos & Parra. In 1976, he joined Petróleos de Venezuela, serving until 1980 as Managing Director of its UK affiliate. During the next five years, Frank was Executive Director of the International Energy Development Corporation, an oil exploration company that he helped to set up in Geneva. He then resumed his consulting work, and research and publishing activities, as President of Energy Economics Research Ltd.

Frank established and was long the editor of the monthly Oil & Energy Trends, now in its forty-fifth year of providing statistical energy information. He presented much of the wisdom he accumulated from over fifty years of varied experience in the oil industry in the book he published in 2004, Oil Politics: A Modern History of Petroleum.

Frank was a recipient of the Order of Francisco de Miranda from the Government of Venezuela in 1968 and the Order of Merit in 1980.

Frank loved classical music and poetry. He also was passionate about hiking in the Swiss Alps, spending weeks every summer walking in the Bernese Oberland. Most of all, Frank was devoted to his family, especially to his beloved wife of 70 years, Erica, and their four children.

A memorial service will be held once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. For online condolences, please visit


Francisco Parra

have a memory or condolence to add?

Judy Dorman

December 26, 2020

may you rest in peace cousin Frank, you will be greatly missed. One of my most fondest memories I have is from the late 1980s. This was when I had recently arrived in Caracas to begin my Venezuelan journey. Frank and Binda had planed a day trip to Canima and had invited me to join them. We set out early morning in small 4 seat aircraft from the cities Airport La Carlota. I was so excited, sitting in the co pilots seat, barley able to speak any Spanish. The trip seamed to last forever as we flew over the majestic mountain that cris croses the entire country, named " El Avila", soon the enormous rock structures known as "Los Tepues" are our view from the National Park of Roraima. Final destiny, Canaima with its most extraordinary Salto Angel, the largest waterfalls in the world. Once we landed we enjoyed a hike up to the Salto Angel and walked behind it with the spay of the fall on our faces and the rainbows that the ardent sun made passing thru the water. We spent time in this tiny village of maybe 5 clay huts with the indigenous family who were so graceful to invite us to a native chicken lunch on their red clay picnic table. After a while we returned to the plane and begin the journey back to civilization. I am so pleased to have had this opportunity with Bina and Frank. A memory and an experience I will never forget. Frank was a kind and extraordinary person and thats how I will always remember him. God bless his soul and God bless all of you.
Much love,
Judy Dorman