Venezuela's oil output production fell 5% from May of 2022 to the previous month, according to the latest Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) released Tuesday.
The document showed the South American country produced 735,000 barrels per day (bpd), 40,000 bpd less than in April. With these figures, Venezuela fell further below President Nicolás Maduro's target of 2 million bpd by the end of the year. In the first three months of 2022, Venezuelan oil production averaged 756,000 bpd, a 7% drop compared to the fourth quarter of last year (817,000 bpd).
While on his international tour, Maduro met with future OPEC Secretary-General Haitham Al Ghais in Kuwait, following stops at Türkiye, Algeria, and Iran. During the working day in Kuwait, I held a satisfactory meeting with the next secretary-general of OPEC, Haitham Al Ghais, with whom I agreed on the need to continue generating mechanisms to achieve stability in the world energy market, the Venezuelan leader said on social media.
Kuwait's Haitham Al Ghais is to take over as secretary-general of OPEC in August for a three-year term to succeed Nigeria's Mohamed Barkindo, who has held the post since 2016. The position entails no executive power, but as the organization's most notorious public figure, he sometimes performs certain diplomatic functions. Barkindo was in Caracas last month.
According to OPEC, most member countries now have a lower production capacity than before the pandemic, because they have not invested in their industries during the crisis. OPEC cut down pumping in May to 28.51 million bpd, 176,000 less than in April.
Although OPEC and its allies, including Russia, agreed to increase their supplies in May, moderately, the document reveals that increases by Saudi Arabia (by 60,000 barrels per day), the United Arab Emirates (31,000 bpd), and Kuwait (27,000 bpd) could not make up for the decrease among other member nations.
The report also confirmed only Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are in a position to rapidly increase supply, while Russia's production is also dropping following the invasion of Ukraine and the ensuing sanctions. Russia's output is expected to fall this year.
OPEC insisted that strong demand and tight supply have led to a strong upward trend in petro-prices since May.