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Venezuela faces oil problems despite having large reserves

12 from 2018 to 23 at 29: XNUMX
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mature petroleum venezuela crisis

Although it holds the largest oil reserves in the world, production levels place it in the middle of the block among OPEC producing members.

Venezuela's plans to stabilize crude oil production are not enough to address bottlenecks and investment shortages, an analyst said on Friday, according to UPI. Manuel Quevedo, head of Petróleos de Venezuela, or PDVSA, announced that crude oil production had stabilized after a chronic decline and the country was trying to pick up the pace by utilizing its mature assets.

Despite its vast reserves, corruption and international isolation have taken a toll on oil production from one of the founding members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Secondary sources reporting to OPEC economists put Venezuelan production at 1,3 million barrels a day on average last month, down 38% from the 2016 average.

Adrian Lara, a senior oil and gas analyst at GlobalData, said in emailed comments to UPI that Venezuela has problems to build on issues, from actual production to refinery issues.

“So not only do the challenges remain, but they combine into a pathway that could prolong and increase the rate of decline in oil production in the Orinoco Belt,” he said.

The US Geological Survey estimates that the Orinoco Belt contains an average of 513 billion barrels of technically recoverable oil reserves. An annual review of global reserves by Italian energy company Eni put Venezuela at the top of the list. While the United States was the top producer last year, its total reserves accounted for about 10% of Venezuela's.

Lara said focusing on mature assets could be a good strategy for Venezuela, but it would require significant investment in a country facing deep economic crises.

“Without details on the strategy, it is difficult to assess how PDVSA can implement a plan in which the loss of production in the Orinoco belt can be offset by production from these fields,” he said.

In a perspective on Latin America, the International Monetary Fund noted that real gross domestic product for Venezuela is expected to drop 18 percent this year, the third consecutive year for a double-digit decline in oil revenue to $22 billion. last year. with around US$70 billion in 2011. Venezuela's total exports are 10% lower than 2016 levels.

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