According to media reports, petrol is being rationed in Venezuela on the basis of licence plates. Queues several kilometres long have formed at petrol stations.
Venezuela, a major oil producer before the onset of the current political and economic crisis, is grappling with serious petrol shortages. Its refineries are operating at only 10 % of capacity owing to equipment problems and a shortage of diluents for Venezuela heavy crude.
For the past six years, the Latin American country’s foreign currency earnings, derived almost exclusively from oil exports, have sunk by 99 %, Maduro has announced. According to data cited by the president, earnings of $56.6 billion in 2013 plunged to $477 million as of September 2020.
Last year, the U.S. administration barred American companies from buying Venezuelan crude for refining.
According to OPEC data, Venezuela extracted a total of 340,000 barrels per day in August, compared to earlier figures of 712,000 barrels per day. In 2017, the average extraction figure stood at 1.7 million bpd – and in 2000 nearly 3 million.
Oil industrial service company Baker Hughes said that in August a single refinery was in operation – a report denied by the state-owned Venezuelan oil company PDVSA.