• 20 hours Iraq Begins To Rebuild Largest Refinery
  • 1 day Canadian Producers Struggle To Find Transport Oil Cargo
  • 1 day Venezuela’s PDVSA Makes $539M Interest Payments On Bonds
  • 1 day China's CNPC Considers Taking Over South Pars Gas Field
  • 1 day BP To Invest $200 Million In Solar
  • 1 day Tesla Opens New Showroom In NYC
  • 1 day Petrobras CEO Hints At New Partner In Oil-Rich Campos Basin
  • 1 day Venezuela Sells Oil Refinery Stake To Cuba
  • 2 days Tesla Is “Headed For A Brick Wall”
  • 2 days Norwegian Pension Fund Set to Divest From Oil Sands and Coal Ventures
  • 2 days IEA: “2018 Might Not Be Quite So Happy For OPEC Producers”
  • 2 days Goldman Bullish On Oil Markets
  • 2 days OPEC Member Nigeria To Issue Africa’s First Sovereign Green Bond
  • 2 days Nigeria To Spend $1B Of Oil Money Fighting Boko Haram
  • 2 days Syria Aims To Begin Offshore Gas Exploration In 2019
  • 2 days Australian Watchdog Blocks BP Fuel Station Acquisition
  • 3 days Colombia Boosts Oil & Gas Investment
  • 3 days Environmentalists Rev Up Anti-Keystone XL Angst Amongst Landowners
  • 3 days Venezuelan Default Swap Bonds At 19.25 Cents On The Dollar
  • 3 days Aramco On The Hunt For IPO Global Coordinators
  • 3 days ADNOC Distribution Jumps 16% At Market Debut In UAE
  • 3 days India Feels the Pinch As Oil Prices Rise
  • 3 days Aramco Announces $40 Billion Investment Program
  • 3 days Top Insurer Axa To Exit Oil Sands
  • 4 days API Reports Huge Crude Draw
  • 4 days Venezuela “Can’t Even Write A Check For $21.5M Dollars.”
  • 4 days EIA Lowers 2018 Oil Demand Growth Estimates By 40,000 Bpd
  • 4 days Trump Set To Open Atlantic Coast To Oil, Gas Drilling
  • 4 days Norway’s Oil And Gas Investment To Drop For Fourth Consecutive Year
  • 4 days Saudis Plan To Hike Gasoline Prices By 80% In January
  • 4 days Exxon To Start Reporting On Climate Change Effect
  • 5 days US Geological Survey To Reevaluate Bakken Oil Reserves
  • 5 days Brazil Cuts Local Content Requirements to Attract Oil Investors
  • 5 days Forties Pipeline Could Remain Shuttered For Weeks
  • 5 days Desjardins Ends Energy Loan Moratorium
  • 5 days ADNOC Distribution IPO Valuation Could Be Lesson For Aramco
  • 5 days Russia May Turn To Cryptocurrencies For Oil Trade
  • 5 days Iraq-Iran Oil Swap Deal To Run For 1 Year
  • 8 days Venezuelan Crude Exports To U.S. Fall To 15-year Lows
  • 8 days Mexico Blames Brazil For Failing Auction

Breaking News:

Iraq Begins To Rebuild Largest Refinery

Alt Text

Maduro Tightens Grip On PDVSA As Production Plunges

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has…

Alt Text

Maduro: Venezuela Could Stop Crude Oil Sales To U.S.

Embattled President Nicolas Maduro has…

Daniel J. Graeber

Daniel J. Graeber

Daniel Graeber is a writer and political analyst based in Michigan. His work on matters related to the geopolitical aspects of the global energy sector,…

More Info

Maduro May Open Oil Doors, But For Who?

Maduro May Open Oil Doors, But For Who?

The apparent victory for Nicolos Maduro in the Venezuelan presidential election may give the United States a sense of hope for improved ties with the Latin American oil giant. His service as a diplomat could make him at least tepid toward Washington, a sentiment backed by outreach efforts before the election. U.S. supermajor Chevron, meanwhile, is among the major players expressing interest in the vast oil deposits that lie off Venezuela's coast. Caracas, for its part, is eager to bring more foreign investors into the country. With U.S. oil production in a boom cycle, however, it's unclear if U.S. eyes will focus on Venezuelan developments given the evolving tilt toward other hemispheres.

Before his death in March, Hugo Chavez left power in the hands of Maduro, his vice president and foreign minister. As foreign minister, Maduro moved Caracas closer to Western opponents like Belarus, the fading Syrian regime of Bashar Assad and Vladimir Putin's Russia.  In February, Caracas said it was expecting a $1.1 billion upfront payment from Russian oil company Rosneft for work in the offshore Orinoco belt. Rosneft said it would come in later with $1.5 billion in financing for a project that could produce as much as 400,000 barrels of oil per day.

Venezuela passed Saudi Arabia in terms of crude oil deposits with an estimated 296.5 billion barrels at the end of 2011. Venezuelan Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez said that means the country may be a panacea for a world economy on the road to recovery.

Related article: VENEZUELA-US: Tell-Tale Signs of Hostile Environment for Investors

"We have always said that in the future the natural resources will become scarce and when the economy recovers and demand will come back then we will be one of the few countries able to respond to that," he said.

Two market reports last week – OPEC's and the U.S. Energy Department's – both forecast a decline in global oil demand in 2013, however. OPEC, in its April report, cut its forecast by 40,000 barrels per day to 800,000 bpd in part because of declining consumption in Europe and Japan. The U.S. Energy Information Administration, meanwhile, cut its 2013 forecast by 50,000 bpd to 960,000 bpd for the year.

The United States has been a key purchaser of Venezuelan crude in the past. U.S. representatives met with Maduro last weekend, saying there was an opportunity with the former foreign minister to "regularize the relationship." That could kick start diplomatic outreach efforts suspended during the Chavez era. U.S. consumption of Venezuelan crude, however, is in decline. The EIA said that, as of January, the United States imported 871,000 bpd of Venezuelan crude, down more than 17 percent from their December figures. Maduro, meanwhile, may draw on the long-standing relationship with Russian giants, and the Chinese economy.  Venezuela already sends 430,000 bpd to China, a substantial increase from a decade ago. Despite a challenge to the polls from rival Henrique Capriles, Maduro may nudge open some of the doors closed by his mentor, Hugo Chavez. The outcome of that effort, however, depends on who's knocking.

By. Daniel J. Graeber of Oilprice.com




Back to homepage


Leave a comment

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News