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Oil reserves in Venezuela

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Title: Oil reserves in Venezuela  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Oil reserves in Russia, Geology of Venezuela, Catatumbo lightning, Oil reserves in the United Arab Emirates, Oil reserves in Nigeria
Collection: Geology of Venezuela, Oil Reserves by Country, Petroleum in Venezuela
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Oil reserves in Venezuela

History of Venezuela's claimed reserves (red) in comparison to those of Saudi Arabia (blue)

The proven [2] OPEC said that Saudi Arabia's reserves stood at 265 billion barrels (4.21×1010 m3) in 2009.[3]

Venezuela's development of its oil reserves has been affected by political unrest in recent years. In late 2002, nearly half of the workers at the state oil company PDVSA went on strike, after which the company fired 18,000 of them. The crude oil that Venezuela has is very heavy by international standards, and as a result much of it must be processed by specialized domestic and international refineries. Venezuela continues to be one of the largest suppliers of oil to the United States, sending about 1.4 million barrels per day (220×10^3 m3/d) to the U.S. Venezuela is also a major oil refiner and the owner of the Citgo gasoline chain.[4]

In October 2007, the Venezuelan government said its proven oil reserves had risen to 100 billion barrels (16×10^9 m3). The energy and oil ministry said it had certified an additional 12.4 billion barrels (2.0×10^9 m3) of proven reserves in the country's Faja del Orinoco region.[5] In February 2008, Venezuelan proven oil reserves were 172 billion barrels (27×10^9 m3).[6]

By 2009, Venezuela reported 211.17 billion barrels (3.3573×1010 m3) of conventional oil reserves, the largest of any country in South America.[7] In 2008, it had net oil exports of 1.189 Mbbl/d (189,000 m3/d) to the United States.[8] As a result of the lack of transparency in the country's accounting, Venezuela's true level of oil production is difficult to determine, but OPEC analysts estimate that it produced around 2.47 Mbbl/d (393,000 m3/d) of oil in 2009. This would give it 234 years of remaining production at current rates.

Orinoco Oil Belt

Orinoco Oil Belt assessment unit, USGS

In addition to conventional oil, Venezuela has oil sands deposits similar in size to those of Canada, and approximately equal to the world's reserves of conventional oil. Venezuela's Orinoco tar sands are less viscous than Canada's Athabasca oil sands – meaning they can be produced by more conventional means – but they are buried too deep to be extracted by surface mining. Estimates of the recoverable reserves of the Orinoco Belt range from 100 billion barrels (16×10^9 m3) to 270 billion barrels (43×10^9 m3). In 2009, USGS updated this value to 513 billion barrels (8.16×1010 m3).[9]

According to the [2] The USGS did not make any attempt to determine how much oil in the Orinoco Belt is economically recoverable. [9]


  1. ^ BP, Statistical review of world energy, June 2014.
  2. ^ a b Venezuela: Oil reserves surpasses Saudi Arabia's at
  3. ^ Venezuela Says Oil Reserves Surpass Saudi Arabia's Reuters at CNBC.
  4. ^ "Venezuela Oil". Country Analysis Briefs. US Energy Information Administration. 2007. Retrieved 2008-04-27. 
  5. ^ Matthew Walter (2007-10-07). )"3 m9^×10"Venezuela's Proven Oil Reserves Rise to 100 billion barrels (16. Bloomberg. Retrieved 2008-01-05. 
  6. ^ "OPEC Facts and figures". Retrieved 13 March 2010. 
  7. ^ OPEC data at
  8. ^ EIA data at
  9. ^ a b Christopher J. Schenk, Troy A. Cook, Ronald R. Charpentier, Richard M. Pollastro, Timothy R. Klett, Marilyn E. Tennyson, Mark A. Kirschbaum, Michael E. Brownfield, and Janet K. Pitman. (11 January 2010). "An Estimate of Recoverable Heavy Oil Resources of the Orinoco Oil Belt, Venezuela". USGS. Retrieved 23 January 2010. 
  10. ^ Gonzalez, O., Ernandez, J., Chaban, F., and Bauza, L. (2006). "Screening of suitable exploitation technologies on the Orinoco Oil Belt applying geostatistical methods". World Heavy Oil Conference, Beijing, China November 12–15, 2006 Proceedings. Paper 2006–774. p. 12. 
  11. ^ Schenk C.J., Cook, T.A., Charpentier, R.R., Pollastro, R.M., Klett, T.R., Tennyson, M.E., Kirschbaum, M.A., Brownfield, M.E., and Pitman, J.K. (2009). "An estimate of recoverable heavy oil resources of the Orinoco Oil Belt, Venezuela: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2009–3028". 
  12. ^ Venezuela oil 'may double Saudi Arabia' BBC
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