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Venezuela Oil Output at Lowest Level Since Jan 03

Venezuela's crude oil production, excluding condensate, fell from an average of 1.1 million barrels per day (bpd) in February to an average of 840,000 bpd in March, according to estimates in the U.S. Energy Information Administration's (EIA) April Short-Term Energy Outlook.

In a statement posted on its website Wednesday, the EIA sad this average is the lowest level since January 2003, "when a nationwide strike and civil unrest largely brought Venezuela's state oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A.'s (PdVSA), operations to a halt".

Widespread power outages, mismanagement of the country's oil industry and U.S. sanctions directed at Venezuela's energy sector and PdVSA have all contributed to the recent declines, the EIA stated.

Venezuela's production decreased by an average of 33,000 bpd each month in 2018 and the rate of decline accelerated to an average of over 135,000 bpd per month in the first quarter of 2019, the EIA highlighted. The country's production is expected to continue decreasing this year.

Back in January, the Trump administration issued sanctions on PdVSA that effectively blocked Maduro's regime from exporting crude to the United States. Maduro branded U.S. sanctions "illegal, criminal and immoral" in a statement posted on his official Twitter page, which was translated. In February, the EIA revealed that the sanctions were unlikely to have a significant impact on U.S. refiners.

The EIA is the statistical and analytical agency within the U.S. Department of Energy. It collects, analyzes, and disseminates independent and impartial energy information to promote sound policymaking, efficient markets and public understanding of energy and its interaction with the economy and the environment, according to the EIA's website.




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