Russia’s Energy Ministry sees risks for oil market due to uncertainty in Venezuela

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SOCHI, February 14. /TASS/. Russia’s Energy Ministry sees risks for the oil market due to uncertainty in Venezuela, Minister Alexander Novak said on the sidelines of the Russian investment forum on Thursday.

“That uncertainty has an impact on the market, of course. The market responds to that,” he said.

According to Novak, the next meeting with the country’s oil minister may be held in Baku in March as part of the OPEC+ ministerial monitoring committee.

Crude production in Venezuela has been falling due to economic turmoil over the last several years, plunging to the lowest level in 73 years in 2018. In early 2015, oil output in the country totaled roughly 2.5 mln barrels per day with over 60 operating wells, whereas by the beginning of this year production dropped by 1 mln barrels, and the number of operating wells decreased to 50, according to the data provided by IHS. The consultancy expects crude output in Venezuela to lose another 0.4 mln barrels per day by the end of this year.

Venezuela has the world’s biggest oil reserves, while its oil sector provides 96% of the country’s revenues. However, since early 2000s, production has been experiencing a decline, which accelerated over the past several years amid falling oil prices. In 2014, when the crude price exceeded $100 per barrel, production in Venezuela totaled 2.3 mln barrels per day.

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