Venezuela's oil industry

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Venezuela is a founding member of OPEC and a key supplier of oil to the United States. Venezuela's oil industry is "the uncontested fuel of Venezuela's economic engine." [1]

"Venezuela's proven oil reserves currently are estimated at about 77.2 billion barrels, but if undeveloped deposits of extra-heavy crude are factored in, the number would jump to 270 billion barrels. That alone would vault Venezuela past Saudi Arabia, which has 262 billion barrels in reserves, but Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez told The Guardian [UK] that the government wants OPEC to recognize the country's total reserves as close to 312 billion barrels." --Stratfor, April 4, 2006.

According to the CIA World Factbook, Venezuela is "highly dependent on the petroleum sector, accounting for roughly one-third of GDP, around 80% of export earnings, and over half of government operating revenues."

"A disastrous two-month national oil strike, from December 2002 to February 2003, temporarily halted economic activity. The economy remained in depression in 2003, declining by 9.2% after an 8.9% fall in 2002. Output recovered strongly in 2004-2005, aided by high oil prices and strong consumption growth," the Fact Book states.


"The oil asset of Venezuela makes it vulnerable. But China, India and Russia have interest in the same. That may make some difference." The BRIC Alliance (Brazil, Russia, India and China) "will oppose any invasion or external intervention in Venezuela." [2]

Oil Companies in Venezuela




  • Juan Carlos Boue, "Venezuela: The Political Economy of Oil (The Political Economies of Oil Exporting Countries)" (Hardcover), Oxford Institute for Energy Studies (January 1, 1994), ISBN: 019730012X.

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