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  • Mexico's Army member guards the Antonio Amor refinery, Guanajuato, June 23, 2020.

    Mexico's Army member guards the Antonio Amor refinery, Guanajuato, June 23, 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 14 July 2020
Opinion

The U.S. sanctions amplified the losses that the fall in oil prices caused to Iran and Venezuela.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Tuesday announced that 13 member nations lost 18 percent of their income in 2019 due to both the fall in oil prices and the loss of markets.

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Oil Prices Peak as Countries Lift COVID-19's Restrictions

According to OPEC's Annual Statistical Bulletin data, the most affected countries were Iran and Venezuela, which were also victims of U.S. sanctions.

In 2018, Iran had an income of US$60.5 billion; in 2019, however, it received only US$19.2, which means a drop of 68 percent.

Venezuela experienced a 35 percent drop in its incomes. From 2018 to 2019, Venezuela's earnings decreased from US$34.6 billion to US$22.4 billion.

Nevertheless, the Latin American country remains the world's largest oil reserve, with about one-fifth of all the world's reserves.

Recent data show that OPEC countries produced 1.86 million barrels per day (mbd) in 2019, which represents a six percent drop from 2018.

Meanwhile, non-OPEC countries experienced a modest 2.9 percent growth in production, after bombing 1.3 mbd more than in 2018.

Starting in May, OPEC+ partners and allies began to implement historic cuts of up to 10 percent in the global production to cope with the demand's collapse caused by COVID-19.

"This cut guarantees the balance of the market in these times of crisis," OPEC Secretary-General Mohamed Barkindo said during the Statistical Bulletin's release. 

Venezuela, Iran, and Libya are exempt from these cuts for they are facing U.S. sanctions or going through economic crises and wartime conflicts.

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