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An Epitome Of Gloom: Venezuela’s Oil Output Is Still Plunging

An Epitome Of Gloom: Venezuela’s Oil Output Is Still Plunging

You have probably seen and read dozens of articles foretelling the impending fall of the Maduro regime in Venezuela. A civil war brought about by the populace’s pauperization and dearth of everything, a traditional Latin American coup d’etat organized the increasingly powerful Venezuelan military etc. – the scenarios are manifold, but we pretty much agree on the outcome. So far, all these predictions have sprung to life but that is not because they are founded on incorrect premises, more like the Venezuelan government becoming ever-flexible to prolong its rule for another couple of months or years. In the meantime, as we speak about Iran sanctions, Russia and Saudi Arabia wanting to institutionalize OPEC+ and other relevant issues, Venezuela is sinking ever lower.

According to Kpler data, loadings from Venezuela in the first two decades of October were down to 0.99 mbpd, falling some 300 kbpd from September 2018 alone. Even if we are to allow some space for inaccuracies and the difficulty of tracking all flows correctly, all data sources point to the same trend – if in the beginning of 2018 the average weekly loading volume oscillated between 10 and 12 million barrels, now it moves strictly within 6-7 million barrels. To put it into blunter terms, Venezuela’s production volume has fallen back 70 years to 1940s levels. Oil workers in Venezuela have to cope with problems completely unknown or forgotten…

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