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IPFS News Link • Venezuela

Venezuela oil production is plummeting


Venezuela's main source of cash is dwindling at a breathtaking pace.

The country's oil output in January fell to its lowest level in nearly 30 years, not including a brief oil strike in 2003, according to S&P Global Platts.

A monthly OPEC report published Monday revealed Venezuela pumped 1.6 million barrels of oil per day last month. Production in January was down 20% from a year ago.

The staggering decline is another sign of Venezuela's economic and political crisis. The country is heading toward a presidential election in April that international critics are already labeling fraudulent.

Venezuela has more crude oil than any other country in the world and it heavily depends on the commodity to power its economy. Crude oil makes up about 95% of Venezuela's exports. The country has no other source of foreign income.

Yet the government-owned oil company, PDVSA, has pumped less and less oil for the last few years because of corruption, crumbling infrastructure and a massive debt crisis.

Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans have fled the country of 30 million in recent years. Those who can't leave are suffering from food and medical shortages, rampant crime and soaring prices on all types of goods. Inflation is expected to shoot up 13,000% this year, according to the IMF.