by Patrick Gillespie | January 9, 2018 | 1:02 PM ET
Venezuela has more oil than any other nation in the world, but it keeps pumping less and less.
Oil production fell in December to one of its lowest points in three decades, further depriving the cash-strapped country of its only major source of revenue and adding to the suffering of its people.
Venezuela produced 1.7 million barrels of oil a day, according to S&P Global Platts, which polled industry officials, traders and analysts and reviewed proprietary shipping data.
That’s the lowest since 2002, when a failed coup temporarily took hold of the government-run oil company, PDVSA.
Other than that, oil production is the lowest in 28 years. It’s down 27% just since 2014, when the country’s economic crisis took hold, according to OPEC and S&P figures.
There’s much more at the original.
Petroleum exports make up 95% of the Bolivarian Republic’s export revenues, and the country has become desperately poor; people are losing weight due to malnutrition, and medical care has been plagued by chronic shortages. The country has already defaulted on $1.2 billion in debt, and Venezuela and PDVSA, the nationalized oil company, owe around $60 billion in outside bond debt. Repudiation of the debt, the kind of thing one expects from socialist nations and dictatorships would simply mean that no one else would lend Venezuela more money, and money is what the country so desperately needs.
This is what socialism does! Socialism brings formerly prosperous countries to their knees, leaving the vast majority poor, with only the men with guns retaining any wealth.