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OPEC data show venezuela oil output in free fall

July 16, 2018/ 14:58

The South American nation earns 96% of its revenue through oil sales but a lack of foreign exchange has sparked economic paralysis that has left the country suffering serious shortages of food and medicine. This was stated Middle East Online reported.

The government of socialist President Nicolas Maduro has told state oil company PDVSA to increase production in the country, which sits atop the world’s largest reserves of crude, told "Financial tribune".

According to the International Monetary Fund, Venezuela’s economic collapse is one of the worst in modern history. The economy has shrunk 45% since 2013 and IMF expects it to contract 15% in 2018 alone, with inflation reaching 13,800%.

Only once during the last 30 years did crude production dip lower, but that was during a brief industry strike from December 2002 to February 2003.

Maduro’s government blames the current crash on PDVSA mismanagement amid a spate of recent corruption cases and a dip in investments due to a lack of funds.

It also points the finger at the United States, which has imposed financial sanctions on the country and individual companies.

But experts put declining production down to the government using PDVSA revenues to plug its fiscal deficit.

Last November, several rating agencies declared Venezuela and PDVSA in partial default.

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