New York News: Venezuela has the largest proven oil reserves on the planet 296 billion barrels, according to OPEC figures.
The vice president for exploration and production of Venezuela’s state oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela (Pdvsa), Eulogio del Pino, said that Venezuela has 297.57 billon barrels of certified oil reserves, enough to satisfy global demand for 100 years.
According to the Oil and Gas Journal, Saudi Arabia contains approximately 265 billion barrels of proven oil reserves (plus 2.5 billion barrels in the Saudi-Kuwaiti shared Neutral Zone) as of January 1, 2013, amounting to slightly less than one-fifth of proven, conventional world oil reserves. Although Saudi Arabia has about 100 major oil and gas fields, over half of its oil reserves are contained in only eight fields. The giant Ghawar field, the world’s largest oil field with estimated remaining reserves of 70 billion barrels, has more proven oil reserves than all but seven other countries.
“There are no larger reserves in the world than ours,” he said. “The Orinoco Oil Belt had been underestimated and was used according to the convenience of a few [individuals]. But Commander Chávez established a geopolitical arrangement in which more than 14 world leaders participated in a joint project that allowed us to certify the reserves.”
Del Pino spoke during an event called a “Bolivarian Dialogue” alongside acting President Nicolás Maduro at the Orinoco Oil Belt in the northeastern state of Monagas.
remains highly dependent on oil revenues, which account for roughly 95% of export earnings, about 45% of federal budget revenues, and around 12% of GDP. Fueled by high oil prices, record government spending helped to boost GDP growth by 4.2% in 2011, after a sharp drop in oil prices caused an economic contraction in 2009-10. Government spending, minimum wage hikes, and improved access to domestic credit created an increase in consumption which combined with supply problems to cause higher inflation – roughly 26% in 2011 and 21% in 2012. President Hugo CHAVEZ’s efforts to increase the government’s control of the economy by nationalizing firms in the agribusiness, financial, construction, oil, and steel sectors have hurt the private investment environment, reduced productive capacity, and slowed non-petroleum exports.
In the first half of 2010 Venezuela faced the prospect of lengthy nationwide blackouts when its main hydroelectric power plant – which provides more than 35% of the country’s electricity – nearly shut down. In May 2010, CHAVEZ closed the unofficial foreign exchange market – the “parallel market” – in an effort to stem inflation and slow the currency’s depreciation. In June 2010, the government created the “Transaction System for Foreign Currency Denominated Securities” to replace the “parallel” market. In December 2010, CHAVEZ eliminated the dual exchange rate system and unified the exchange rate at 4.3 bolivars per dollar. In January 2011, CHAVEZ announced the second devaluation of the bolivar within twelve months. In December 2010, the National Assembly passed a package of five organic laws designed to complete the transformation of the Venezuelan economy in line with CHAVEZ’s vision of 21st century socialism. In 2012, Venezuela continued to wrestle with a housing crisis, high inflation, an electricity crisis, and rolling food and goods shortages – all of which were fallout from the government’s unorthodox economic policies. The budget deficit for the entire government reached 17% of GDP in 2012, and public debt as a percent of GDP climbed steeply to 49%, despite record oil prices.
By: Edie Gonzales
New York News