OPEC: Venezuela Has Largest Oil Reserves, Surpassing Saudi Arabia
Source: Axis of Logic
By Les Blough and Arturo Rosales, 19 July 2011.
Venezuela's crude oil proven reserves exceeded those of Saudi Arabia last year according to OPEC's annual statistical report. In 2009, OPEC listed Saudi as having the highest reserves at 264.59 billion barrels or 25.9% of OPEC's overall reserves and Venezuela at 211.17 billion barrels or 19.8% of OPEC reserves.
According to OPEC's latest annual report, Venezuela's proven crude oil reserves reached 296.5 billion barrels in 2010, up 40.4% on the year and higher than Saudi Arabia's 264.5 billion barrels.
The data confirms statements by Venezuela's national oil company (PDVSA) which reported it had this level of reserves as early as January of this year. Venezuela began certifying its oil reserves in the Orinoco belt in 2007 and since then the corporate media accused PDVSA of exaggerating their estimates for political reasons and raising questions about how much of Venezuela's reserves are economically viable. At that time President Chávez predicted that Venezuela's commercial reserves would reach 310 billion barrels. Well that looks to be the case and the fact that Venezuela is pumping just over 3 million barrels a day is enough to keep the economy running nicely and replenish the international reserves.
The fact that PDVSA receives a good bill of health from Fortune, WSJ and Dow Jones suggests that the negative press in Venezuela and the western media is part of a campaign to discredit the company as it is being run with socialist ideals sending 82% of the generated profit directly to the Venezuelan people and not offshore or US banks, gaining interest for the Venezuelan ruling class as was before President Chavez took control of PDVSA after the oil strike and sabotage of December 2002 - February 2003.
PDVSA has the distinction of investing more in social programs ($21 billion) than any other single company in the world.