Venezuelan oil exports may cease in 2008

“Provided that in 2008 the number of cars sold is similar to that expected to be sold this year, Venezuela will not have surplus fuel production for export, and the country will be faced with the risk of resorting to imports.”


Hmmm… this follows closely on the heels of Mexico’s warnings about oil reserves.  I think the first article is about finished gasoline instead of overall oil exports, but considering how much of Venezuela’s oil reserves are heavy crude, this isn’t good news.

As a reminder, here’s a list of who imports oil to the USA, courtesy of the DOE. As you can see, the top importers of oil to the USA are:

  • Canada
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Mexico
  • Venezuela
  • Nigeria
  • Angola
  • Algeria
  • Iraq


So… our number three and four exporters of oil are now warning that they’re either going to stop having oil available for export, or they’ll run out of economically feasible oil reserves. If this turns out to be true, we’ll be wishing for the days we only paid $3 a gallon at the pumps.


This is a good example of Jeffrey Brown’s Export Land Model in action, folks. Venezuela subsidizes gasoline prices, so there is little incentive for Venezuelans to restrict their consumption, and it’s unlikely they would do it anyway if it’s just going to go to the hated Americans…

I can’t foretell the future better than anyone else, but it sure looks to me like our current motoring lifestyle will be reaching it’s boundaries in the next 5-7 years. When Venezuela & Mexico stop exporting oil, who’ll pick up the slack? Odds are good no-one will be able to. Biofuels and the like will help a little bit, but we’re kidding ourselves if we think ethanol will save us from this approaching event.



4 Responses to Venezuelan oil exports may cease in 2008

  1. Jojo says:

    I would love to see a world without fossil fuel burning machinery, may it come to that quickly!

  2. Bart says:

    It’ll come to that, but I don’t know how quick the transition will be. Most peak oil ‘pessimists’ think that the world be be producing around the same amount of oil in 2020 that we were in 1980. That’s still a lot of oil… just not enough to satiate the expected demand.

  3. Dan says:

    I don’t think it’s related to topic of the article, but I noticed all the Citgo stations (Venezuela gas company) around town have closed up. The stations seem to remain open, but the Citgo signs have been removed and haven’t been replaced with any other company. The locally owned stations are somewhat shady as a couple years ago one of the owners and/or managers was busted for selling drugs out of one of the stations, so I’m not sure if they closed due to mismanagement or whatever reason. Have you noticed the same trend in the cities?

  4. Bart says:

    There aren’t a whole lot of Citgo stations around where I live, Dan, so I’m not sure… looking around the net it does appear that Citgo is exiting some markets… whether this is due to political or economic considerations, I don’t know.

    Perhaps the bigwigs at Citgo have seen the writing on the wall and have decided to sell their US stations while they still have top value?

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