Venezuela's oil industry
"Venezuela's proven oil reserves currently are estimated at about 77.2 billion barrels, but if undeveloped deposits of extra-heavy crude are factored in, the number would jump to 270 billion barrels. That alone would vault Venezuela past Saudi Arabia, which has 262 billion barrels in reserves, but Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez told The Guardian [UK] that the government wants OPEC to recognize the country's total reserves as close to 312 billion barrels." --Stratfor, April 4, 2006.
According to the CIA World Factbook, Venezuela is "highly dependent on the petroleum sector, accounting for roughly one-third of GDP, around 80% of export earnings, and over half of government operating revenues."
"A disastrous two-month national oil strike, from December 2002 to February 2003, temporarily halted economic activity. The economy remained in depression in 2003, declining by 9.2% after an 8.9% fall in 2002. Output recovered strongly in 2004-2005, aided by high oil prices and strong consumption growth," the Fact Book states.
"The oil asset of Venezuela makes it vulnerable. But China, India and Russia have interest in the same. That may make some difference." The BRIC Alliance (Brazil, Russia, India and China) "will oppose any invasion or external intervention in Venezuela." 
Oil Companies in Venezuela
- Citgo Petroleum Corp. (owned by PDVSA/PdVSA)
- Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA/PdVSA)
- BP p.l.c. (UK)
- Chevron Corp. (US)
- China National Petroleum Corporation (China)
- Eni SPA (Italy)
- ExxonMobil (US)
- Petrobras (Brazil)
- PetroCanada (Canada)
- Repsol YPF (Spain - Brazil/Argentina)
- Royal Dutch Shell PLC
- Shell (US)
- Total SA (France)
- Juan Carlos Boue, "Venezuela: The Political Economy of Oil (The Political Economies of Oil Exporting Countries)" (Hardcover), Oxford Institute for Energy Studies (January 1, 1994), ISBN: 019730012X.
Related SourceWatch Resources
- "The history of Venezuela and its oil," Alexander's Gas & Oil Connections, May 16, 2001. (Source: PdVSA Petroleum education program).
- Briony Hale, "Analysis: Venezuela's oil industry," BBC, December 6, 2002.
- Venezuela, U.S. Department of Energy, Undated.
- Simon Romero and Brian Ellsworth, "Venezuela sidelines US oil companies," New York Times (Energy Bulletin), January 1, 1970.
- Greg Morsbach, "Venezuela pins hopes on new oil chief," BBC, June 10, 2002.
- James Dao and Neela Banerjee, "Venezuelan crisis clouds U.S. Iraq campaign. Oil shortages from strike could raise the cost of a war," New York Times (San Franciso Chronicle), January 11, 2003.
- "Venezuelan Oil Strike. An oil strike in the South American country of Venezuela sparks violence in the historically stable democracy and could drive up U.S. gas prices," PBS Online NewsHour, January 22, 2003.
- "Venezuela and oil," CBC News (Canada), November 27, 2003.
- Pascal Fletcher, "Venezuela would stop oil to U.S. if invaded-Chavez," Forbes, February 29, 2004.
- Stephen Johnson and Ariel Cohen, "Minimizing Mischief in Venezuela, Stabilizing the U.S. Oil Supply," Heritage Foundation, August 12, 2004.
- Sudhir Chadda, "After Iraq it is Venezuela - the next oil confrontation between America and Euro Zone and this time a new super power coalition of India, China, Russia and Brazil makes the difference," India Daily, November 27, 2004.
- "U.S. mulls losing oil supplies from Venezuela. President Chávez seeks to move more crude to China, other nations," Financial Times (MSNBC), January 14, 2005.
- Marianna Pariaga, "Venezuela's Energy and Oil Minister: 'We are Rethinking Our Oil Industry'," El Universal (Venezuelanalysis.com), February 10, 2005.
- Humberto Márquez, "Oil: Venezuela Seeks to Diversify Markets," Inter Press Service, February 15, 2005.
- Gregory Wilpert, "Oil Minister: 'Venezuela Will Not Withdraw from the U.S. Market'," Venezuelanalysis.com, February 23, 2005.
- Stuart Munckton, "Venezuela: Bush's next oil war?" Green Left Weekly, March 16, 2005.
- Sudhir Chadda, "Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez nervous about coup? Will BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) help Chavez?" India Daily, April 14, 2005.
- "Jamaica signs on to Venezuela's plan for cheaper oil in Caribbean," Associated Press (CBC News (Canada)), April 14, 2005.
- Monica Perin, "At least two Citgo U.S. refineries marketed for sale," Houston Business Journal, April 19, 2005.
- Jim Bencivenga, "Venezuela flexes oil muscle. US sees oil and Chavez's ambitions as a troublesome mix," Christian Science Monitor, April 20, 2005.
- Danna Harman, "Chávez seeks influence with oil diplomacy. In just one month, Venezuela has cut deals with five countries," Christian Science Monitor, August 25, 2005: Chavez has proposed agreements with Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Columbia, Cuba, Ecuador, Peru, and Uruguay, as well as pacts known as PetroCaribe (Caribbean Community group, or Caricom); PetroSur (Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay); PetroAndina (Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, Colombia).
- Cleto Sojo, "Venezuela's CITGO to Provide Cheap Gas for U.S. Hospitals, Nursing Homes and Schools," Venezuelanalysis.com, August 29, 2005.
- "Venezuela Oil Aid To Boston, Bronx," Associated Press (CBS News), November 19, 2005.
- Stephen Johnson, "Venezuela's Oil Shenanigans Wash Up on American Shores," Heritage Foundation, November 23, 2005.
- "Venezuela oil offer already generating heat in USA," USA Today, December 1, 2005.
- "Venezuela: oil pipeline fire quickly put out, oil minister says," Pravda (NewsFromRussia.com), December 4, 2005.
- "Venezuela's Citgo Oil Company Has U.S. Roots," NPR, December 21, 2005.
- Jessica Pupovac, "Chicago Turns Down Discounted Venezuelan Oil," The New Standard, December 28, 2005.
- "Venezuela to send US more cheap oil," Associated Press (Al Jazeera), January 7, 2006.
- Mike Pesca, "Venezuela's Oil Deal for U.S. Poor Draws Heat," NPR, January 10, 2006: "Venezuela has been selling oil -- far below market cost -- to people in poor neighborhoods in New York and Massachusetts. Since Venezuela's leftist President Hugo Chavez has fragile relations with the Bush administration, the gesture has created diplomatic fallout."
- Tim Padgett, "Venezuela's Oil Giveaway. Hugo Chavez is helping the U.S. poor with discounted heating oil—while irritating his foes in Washington," TIME, February 7, 2006.
- "Venezuela reassures on oil supply," Reuters (Al Jazeera), February 9, 2006.
- "Chavez warns US over Venezuelan oil," Reuters (Al Jazeera), February 18, 2006.
- Juan Forero, "Venezuela Cautions U.S. It May Curtail Oil Exports," New York Times (Common Dreams), February 27, 2006.
- Luciano Wexell Severo, "In Venezuela, Oil Sows Emancipation," Rebelion.org (Venezuelanalysis.com), March 20, 2006.
- "Envoy: U.S. can survive without Venezuela's oil," Reuters (CNN), March 20, 2006.
- "Chavez grants fuel deal to El Salvador," Associated Press (Al Jazeera), March 21, 2006.
- "Chavez boosts petrochemical output," Associated Press (Al Jazeera), March 26, 2006.
- Greg Palast, "The New World Oil Order: Hugo Chavez Tells BBC, We Have More Oil Than Saudi Arabia," BBC (gregpalast.com), April 3, 2006. Watch BBC report.
- "Venezuela takes over two oilfields," Associated Press (Al Jazeera), April 4, 2006.
- Natalie Obiko Pearson, "Venezuela Oil Field Seizures Cause Jitters," Associated Press (Washington Post), April 4, 2006.
- Geri Smith, "Venezuela's Seizure Ups the Ante," BusinessWeek, April 4, 2006: "Taking greater control in the oil fields, President Hugo Chávez is seeking a bigger slice of the pie. Question is, do the oil giants have much choice?"
- "Venezuela takes over seven oil fields," UPI (Big News Network), April 4, 2006.
- Juan Forero, "Chávez using oil money to buy influence abroad," New York Times/International Herald Tribune, April 5, 2006.
- Jasmina Kelemen, "Big Oil seen trimming Venezuela risks. Chavez push to retool contracts cools investment climate," Dow Jones MarketWatch, April 5, 2006. Free registration required, or view article on Free Republic website.
- "Analysts: Oil Majors to Cut Exposure to Venezuela," AFX News Limited (Rigzone), April 6, 2006.
- "Geopolitical Diary: Venezuela's Oil Dreams," Stratfor, April 6, 2006.
- "France's Total settles taxes with Caracas; Chevron agrees to pay," Agence France Presse (Petroleumworld), April 6, 2006.
- Thomas Catan and Andy Webb-Vidal, "Caracas warns oil companies of more tax increases," Financial Times (MSNBC), April 10, 2006.
- Elio Ohep, "Statoil to continue perforation on Venezuela's Deltana's with Total as a partner," Petroleumworld, April 10, 2006.
- "Venezuela to kickstart Cuban refinery," Reuters (Al Jazeera), April 11, 2006: "Venezuelan state oil company, PDVSA, has formed a joint venture with Cuba to revamp an unfinished Soviet-era refinery on the island and supply it with oil."
- Chris Kraul, "A Political Minefield in Venezuela's Oil Fields. Prospects that Chavez will nationalize the export industry add to the market's anxieties," Los Angeles Times, April 12, 2006.
- "Venezuela sets oil export deal with India," Agence France Presse (Petroleumworld), April 12, 2006.
- Brian Ellsworth, "Oil companies not running from Venezuela," Reuters (Petroleumworld), April 13, 2006.
- Jens Gould, "Venezuela tightens oil grip. The government last week seized the fields of two multinational oil giants," Christian Science Monitor, April 14, 2006.