Will Venezuelan extra-heavy oil be a significant source of petroleum in the next decades?
Unconventional oil resources are needed to complement petroleum supply in the next decades. However, given the restrictions that pertain to the production of these resources, this article evaluates the availability of Venezuelan unconventional oil for helping meet the future worldwide petroleum demand. Venezuela has the world's second-largest oil reserves, but the majority of it is unconventional extra-heavy oil from the Orinoco Oil Belt. The perspective of Venezuelan production, the ways in which PDVSA, the state oil company, will raise funds for planned investments and the future oil price predictions are used to assess Venezuela's ability to serve as a source of unconventional oil in the coming years. Findings indicate that Venezuelan crude oil will be increasingly able to provide part of the marginal petroleum supply at a level predicted in global scenarios but short of that predicted by the country's government. Operational difficulties and the effort to raise financial resources for the oil production in the Belt require urgency in overcoming difficulties. As conventional production in Venezuela will stabilise in the coming years and the country is dependent on oil production, Venezuela will rely on extra-heavy oil extraction to ensure increased oil production and the stabilisation of internal accounts.
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