Venezuela: Crude prices jump in July
August 10, 2011
In July, the average price of the Venezuelan mix of crude oil rose 3.3% over the previous month to reach USD 105.94 per barrel (June: USD 102.55 per barrel). Oil prices climbed in July on the back of the latest Greek bailout as well as the debt ceiling increase in the United States. In addition, oil prices benefited from declining US crude oil commercial inventories, a high volume of crude contract purchases in futures markets and a weak U.S. dollar. According to the latest report from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Venezuelan oil production reached 2.40 million barrels per day (mbpd) in June, which was up from 2.37 mbpd in May. Meanwhile, OPEC's annual statistics bulletin reported that Venezuela's proven crude oil reserves surpassed those of Saudi Arabia in 2010, totalling 196.5 billion barrels, which is up 40.4% over the previous year. However, analysts were sceptical about whether all heavy and extra-heavy oil found in the Orinoco Belt are actually economically viable.