Reuters reports Erick Perez, the deputy oil minister of Venezuela, as saying that the country is now pumping 850,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil.
This comes after the United States temporarily eased its sanctions on the country. What’s more, he said the country hoped to quickly ramp production up to a million bpd.
Despite having the world’s largest proven oil reserves, oil production in Venezuela has declined from a peak of around 3 million bpd due to years of mismanagement, underinvestment, and sanctions.
The US recently eased its sanctions on the country for six months following a political breakthrough that could see elections held in the country next year. Before this, Chevron, which makes the Texaco grease and lubricant products, was the only US oil major that had a license to operate in the country.
Speaking on the sidelines of an energy conference in Caracas, Perez said:
“We have set a plan with several phases: recovery, stabilisation and growth. Of course, six months in the oil industry is a short time, [but it] will allow us to progress. In the medium term, we will see the results.”
Venezuela needs to import diluents to produce heavy crude grades that are suitable for export. Perez said that if the flow of these continues, the country’s oil production will continue increasing. He said he also hoped the country would regain market share from its former customers, such as the US, which used to be the biggest buyer of Venezuelan crude oil.