Bloomberg News

Venezuela’s Chavez Plans to Double Oil-Output Capacity by 2019

June 12, 2012

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez will more than double the country’s oil-production capacity to 6 million barrels a day by 2019 if re-elected on Oct. 7, according to a government plan released today on his website.

Chavez wants to increase domestic refining capacity to 1.8 million barrels a day from 1.3 million barrels a day in 2013, according to the plan. No details on funding were given in the plan, which stated that the nation would “intensify efforts to obtain the financing needed.”

The South American country will “further the diversification of its export markets,” and in 2019 aims to export 2.2 million barrels a day to Asia, 1.25 million barrels a day to Latin America and the Caribbean, 1.15 million barrels a day to North America and 550,000 barrels a day to Europe.

Chavez, who is suffering from an undisclosed type of cancer, has seen Venezuela’s production stagnate at less than 3 million barrels a day since he came to power in 1999, according to data complied by Bloomberg. The country produced 2.82 million barrels a day in May, according to a report from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Opposition candidate Henrique Capriles has pledged to increase oil output if elected and wants the country to review deals that provide Caribbean countries with subsidized oil.

Most of the new output will come from the Orinoco oil belt, which is slated to produce 4 million barrels a day by 2019. The plan also calls for drilling 10,500 horizontal wells from 2013 to 2019 and the construction of heavy crude upgraders.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nathan Crooks in Caracas at ncrooks@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dale Crofts at dcrofts@bloomberg.net


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