Oil production in Venezuela has jumped to nearly 1.9 million barrels per day, suggesting the Latin American nation’s output is on the road to recovery despite a lack of access to global credit markets. Venezuela’s November production was 1.834 million bpd, according to OPEC secondary sources.
State-run PDVSA has previously vowed that 2018 would bring total output to over 2.4 million barrels per day, but the progress on meeting this goal is difficult to evaluate. Maduro has made a pattern out of grandstanding as protests against his regime continue to escalate.
Here are some facts and figures to put the crisis in perspective: 81.8 percent of Venezuelan households are in poverty, 1.2 million citizens are leaving the country, 78 percent of medical centers are suffering from low supplies of medications, and the inflation rate may pass 2,300 percent in 2018. All of this caused largely by oil revenues that have been cut in half, as well as shortages of gasoline.
“The year 2018 will be one of recovery, after having touched a historic low. We are now near 1.9 million barrels of oil per day, thanks to the workers,” said Manuel Quevedo, oil minister and military general, speaking in a television interview, Reuters reported.
U.S. sanctions have also made it difficult for the PDVSA to maintain its operations. The Trump administrations newest provisions prevent Citgo, the company’s U.S. subsidiary, from repatriating any earnings. They also make it impossible for Caracas to access American credit markets, forcing Maduro to seek deals with Russia and China to refinance crippling amounts of debt.
OPEC’s crude oil production remained largely unchanged from November in December, but that was mostly thanks to a 50,000-bpd decline in Venezuela’s production, as well as further cuts in Saudi Arabia, a Bloomberg survey of ship-tracking data, analyst opinions, and company information suggested earlier this month.
By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com
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