The production level approaches PDVSA’s forecast of one million bpd by the end of 2021, according to an internal PDVSA report. The country's oil industry, along with the millions of Venezuelan citizens, have seen their livelihoods damaged by the illegal coercive measures, or sanctions, issued by the United States and Europe in an attempt to overthrow President Nicolas Maduro.
Venezuela: 1.5 Million Barrels per Day Goal, Oil Industry Rises
The level of production has been achieved due to the efforts of the company's exploration and production workers, PDVSA noted. Similarly, a stable supply of Iranian diluents, as part of an oil-for-condensate swap agreement, made it possible to continue improving the country’s main production and transportation operations in the Orinoco Belt.
PDVSA workers confront the difficult task of overcoming delays and incidents in the fields, caused in part by divestment and neglected maintenance work, but mostly due to the sanctions, which cut PDVSA off from the world market, making it difficult to source parts and carry out maintenance and repairs. These coercive measures are the principal causes of the steep drop in Venezuela’s oil production, now recovering at a stable pace.
"PDVSA achieved total oil production of 930,000 barrels per day the first week of December, bringing it close to the one million barrel level expected by the end of the year."
The 930,000 bpd production figure for the first week of December far surpasses the 569,000 bpd average for 2020. The figure also represents a significant boost from the 756,000 bpd reported for October 2021, according to the data provided by OPEC’s latest Oil Market Report.
In the second half of the current year PDVSA began to take advantage of a stable supply of Iranian condensate to dilute the extra-heavy oil of the South American nation and increase crude production so as to meet the demand for both export and domestic consumption. More than two-thirds of the shipments go to China and other Asian countries.