Venezuela: Oil prices jump in January
Oil prices soared in January, coming in at a the highest level since November 2014. The average price of Venezuela’s mix of crude oil traded at USD 61.4 per barrel (pb), which was 7.8% higher than in the previous month (December: USD 56.6 pb). Oil prices have risen steadily since June thanks to renewed demand and production cuts by key producers. However, the recovery in oil prices has not been enough to stem Venezuela’s rampant economic crisis.
Oil production nosedived last year due to insufficient investment, mismanagement of oil fields and electricity rationing. The latest production data from OPEC revealed that output in Venezuela fell to a multi-year low of 1.75 million barrels per day (mbpd) in December, below the country’s OPEC target and down from 1.83 mbpd in November. The number is abysmal for the country with the largest proven oil reserves in the world. For the full year 2017, oil production came in at 1.9 million mbpd, notably down from 2016’s 2.2 million mbpd.