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Montevideo, March 22nd 2023 - 00:38 UTC



In spite of 100 years of production, Venezuela claims world’s largest proven oil reserves

Wednesday, February 2nd 2011 - 18:06 UTC
Full article 3 comments
Energy and Petroleum Minister Rafael Ramirez Energy and Petroleum Minister Rafael Ramirez

Venezuela holds 297 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, most of it in tar sands but sufficient to be ahead of Saudi Arabia considered by world experts the number one country in reserves.

“At the end of 2010, we had a level of 217 billion barrels of oil, and now, at the start of this year, we are in a position to certify 297 billion barrels” said Energy and Petroleum Minister Rafael Ramirez in Caracas.

The minister recalled that in 1998, when President Hugo Chavez was elected for his first term, the country had 75 billion barrels of oil reserves, “35 billion of them wrongly classified as bitumen from the Orinoco Belt” in eastern Venezuela.

Of the current total of 297 billion barrels, 220 billion are located in the Orinoco Belt, “which gives us a solid footing for our entire expansion plan in the oil production area” underlined Ramirez.

The minister said Venezuela’s natural gas reserves totalled 195 trillion cubic feet thanks to offshore drilling campaigns in the giant Perla field.

Ramirez pointed out that as Energy minister he was pleased that Venezuela is ready to complete and celebrate 100 years of oil production adding that “unlike many countries that have exhausted their base of reserves, Venezuela’s continue to grow”.

The country currently exports more than 2.3 million barrels per day, while domestic consumption amounts to more than 560,000 bpd.

Chavez informed lawmakers the latest projections indicate that Venezuela’s oil reserves total some 300 billion barrels and are greater than those of Saudi Arabia, which, according to OPEC’s latest bulletin, had 264.6 billion barrels of proven oil reserves in 2009.

That same bulletin showed that Venezuela’s proven reserves stood at 211.2 billion barrels. Venezuela is among the world’s top 10 oil exporters and a key supplier to the United States.


Top Comments

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  • briton

    oil oil the world is full of oil,
    the sooner we come up with an alternative to oil, the sooner perhaps
    these greedy people get what they deserve, there must be a alternative somewhere .

    Feb 02nd, 2011 - 09:51 pm 0
  • I

    good for Venezuela and the Chavistas who came out of corporate oprestion in 2001 to increase their reserve two folds, I am Chavez was a lot better then we gived him credit for.

    Feb 02nd, 2011 - 09:54 pm 0
  • Beef

    If Chavez is so good then why are power outages common in what is a major oil producer? A = Nationalization creates great inefficiency

    Why does Venezuela now have to import coffee despite previously being a exporting nation? A = Production plummeted after nationalization

    Why was the recession longer and deeper in Venezuela when compared to the region? A = economic mismanagement and falling production created by nationalization. Without the oil reserves (and these are heavy grade, therefore more expensive to extract and refine) then Chavez would be looked at just like Mugabe of Zimbabwe.

    The guy is a paranoid lunatic like most (so called) socialist leaders. If you want improvement then free the people to make their own business decisions and genetate their own wealth. This is the only way to lift people our of poverty.

    Feb 02nd, 2011 - 10:12 pm 0
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