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Oil watchdog: Venezuelan oil industry at risk of collapse



"Although there are signs that the situation [with electricity] is improving, the degradation of the power system is such that we cannot be sure if the corrections are lasting", said the agency, a watchdog for western oil-consuming countries, in a post on his website Friday.
Much of the country was without power for most of last week. Nicolas Maduro's fighting government said Thursday that power has been restored, but there are still reports of interruptions.

Venezuela produces about 1.2 million barrels of oil a day when it operates normally, the IEA said. But the agency said there are a number of factors that could blunt the Venezuelan oil loss on the global oil market.

The first and most important is the production cut agreed by the OPEC and some non-OPEC countries, which also amount to 1

.2 million barrels per day.

"Much of this spare capacity is made up of crude oil of similar quality to the Venezuelan exports", the agency said. "Therefore, in the event of a serious loss of supply from Venezuela, the potential means to avoid serious interruptions in the oil market is theoretically affordable for everyone."

Furthermore, signs of a slowdown in the global economy could reduce demand for oil, according to the IEA. And the tendency to expand exports from Canada and the United States could also fill part of the gap.

In an attempt to force Maduro to leave office, the United States slapped sanctions on Venezuela and the national oil industry in January, blocking its oil exports to US customers.

Sanctions are having another impact on the Venezuelan oil industry, which gets most of its oil from the United States. Its supply of the liquid hydrocarbon mixture, used to dilute the crude oil, has been interrupted. Without it, the heavy crude of Venezuela cannot be easily transported.

Rystad Energy predicts that some operators in Venezuela will run out of oil this month.

– Mattnin Business & # 39; Matt Egan contributed to this story


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