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Charles Kennedy

Charles Kennedy

Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com

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EIA Sees Limited Growth In Venezuela’s Oil Production Despite Sanctions Relief

  • After the U.S. lifted sanctions on Venezuela for six months, the country is expected to increase its oil production.
  • According to the EIA, this increase is set to be less than 200,000 barrels per day through the end of 2024.
  • Most of the near-term growth is expected to come from Chevron’s joint ventures, although other joint ventures will add some.

Venezuela is expected to raise its crude oil production by less than 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) until the end of 2024 as years of underinvestment and mismanagement will hamper rapid output growth following the effective lifting of most oil sanctions on Venezuela for six months, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Monday.

Last week, the United States lifted sanctions on Venezuela’s oil industry after the Nicolas Maduro government reached a deal with the opposition that could see elections held next year. The U.S. issued a six-month general license until April 18, 2024, temporarily authorizing transactions involving the oil and gas sector in Venezuela. The license will be renewed only if Venezuela meets its commitments under the so-called electoral roadmap, the U.S. Treasury noted.

The easing of the sanctions could raise U.S. imports of heavy crude from Venezuela as it now allows purchases of crude. Until last week, Chevron was the only Western supermajor with special authorization to operate oil fields and export crude from Venezuela, under a special license issued by the Biden Administration late last year.

Still, Venezuela’s crude oil production, at 735,000 bpd in September 2023, per EIA estimates, is unlikely to jump above 900,000 bpd by the end of 2024, the administration reckons.

The lifting of the sanctions will raise Venezuela’s import of diluent, which is necessary to process Venezuela’s heavy oil, but this would boost production only slightly.

Most of the near-term growth is expected to come from Chevron’s joint ventures, which could raise production to 200,000 bpd by the end of 2024 from 135,000 bpd in 2023, according to the EIA.

Joint ventures operated by Eni, Repsol, and Maurel & Prom could increase production by an additional 50,000 bpd in the near term, according to IPD Latin America cited by the EIA. As a result, Venezuela’s total crude oil production could grow to about 900,000 bpd by the end of 2024.

Further production growth will need more time and investments, the EIA said.   

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com


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  • Mamdouh Salameh on October 23 2023 said:
    Even with the easing of US sanctions, Venezuela will never be able to raise its production by more than 200,000 barrels a day (b/d) from the current 735,000 b/d to 935,000 b/d by the end of 2024. The reason is the derelict state of its oil infrastructure. Therefore the easing of the sanctions will have no immediate effect on the global oil market or prices.

    The expected increase of 200,000 b/d will come primarily from its joint production project with Chevron with an estimated contribution of 50,000 b/d from other joint projects with Eni, Repsol, and Maurel & Prom.

    Venezuela needs billions of dollars of foreign investments and at least 5-6 years to raise its production significantly. Easing the sanctions could pave the way for foreign investments to flow to Venezuela but then there is no guarantee that the United States won’t renege on its decision to ease the sanctions with Venezuela finding itself back in square one.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Global Energy Expert

Leave a comment

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