Venezuela’s Oil Reserves Surpass Saudi Arabia

Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez said that his country’s oil reserves total 217 barrels topping Saudi Arabia’s and making them the largest in the world. “We have exceeded 217 billion barrels but the certification process has not ended,” Chavez said during a review of his 2010 accomplishments before the newly installed National Assembly. Venezuela’s total reserves could reach 300 billion barrels of crude based on new projections, and some United States experts estimate that they could total 500 billion barrels, with almost all the oil in the Orinoco Belt, he said. The Orinoco Belt, located in east-central Venezuela, is believed to hold the world’s largest petroleum reserves, with most of the oil heavy and extra-heavy crude that is more expensive to refine because it requires additional processing. “We have said that we have 300 billion barrels, but the administration of President (Barack) Obama published a report saying that 500 billion barrels could be recovered there. That is probably because they have better technology than we do,” Chavez said. “Venezuela has petroleum for more than 200 years. No other country in the planet has reserves for 200 years,” he said. The price of a barrel of oil “will reach $100 and $200 because the reserves are running out,” Chavez said. The president denied reports from the opposition media that Venezuela’s production had fallen below two million barrels per day. “We are at three million and a little more barrels daily and we have been increasing production from the Orinoco Belt,” Chavez said. The president also said Venezuela would raise its ranking in gas reserves from No. 8 to No. 5. ((18 JAN 2011))





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