US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — Venezuela’s crude oil production ended last week at about 670,000 bpd, the lowest level in five months, amid US sanctions and a drop in global demand, documents seen by Reuters showed.
According to an internal report of the state-owned oil company (PDVSA) dated March 27, production in the Orinoco oil belt, the largest crude-producing region in Venezuela, reached 364,930 barrels per day to that date, although the projects there were produced on Friday around 420 340 barrels of heavy crude oil.
According to special estimates, the region produced about 500 thousand barrels per day in January.
Production in the Zulia region in the west of the country reached 150,000 barrels on Friday, while oil fields in northeastern Venezuela produced 100,000 barrels after an explosion at a major pumping station earlier this month halted production of about 40,000 barrels per day, said the leader of the Petroleum Workers Union Fritz and a source familiar with the data spoke on condition of anonymity.
PDVSA and the Oil Ministry did not respond to requests for comment.
March’s numbers signal the end of a period of relative stability in Venezuela until February, when production remained between 865 thousand and 912 thousand barrels per day, according to reports sent by the country to OPEC.
In addition to the drop in production, the state-owned oil company is again facing difficulty in discharging increasing stocks of unsold oil as exports dwindle and the number of Venezuelan oil customers shrinks.
The drop came in March after Washington, which is seeking to topple Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, imposed sanctions on Russian oil giant Rosneft, which was a key mediator in the Venezuelan oil trade.
On Saturday, Rosneft announced its withdrawal from Venezuela projects by selling a coordinator of its assets to a company controlled by the Russian government.
It is not yet clear how this will affect Rosneft’s projects with BDSA. According to a document of the Venezuelan Oil Company, the main joint venture of the two companies in the Orinoco Belt produced 79,000 barrels on Friday, but its storage capacity is running out.
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