It appears increasingly likely that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez will not return to power following his latest cancer treatment in December and analysts are considering the implications of a post-Chavez regime for one of the largest crude oil producers in the world.
Venezuela holds some of the world’s largest oil reserves and is the second largest Opec oil exporter to the US. Oil revenue accounts for a bulk of the government’s income and has largely been used to fund Chavez’s wide-ranging social programs. But the country’s oil industry – which is essentially state-owned company PDVSA – has been struggling with declining production rates at mature fields, along with other problems. Keep reading →