The average price that Venezuela receives for its basket of oil fell below $20 this week as the Coronavirus ravaged demand around the world and a potential production cut agreement between OPEC and Russia broke down.
CARACAS -- The average price that Venezuela receives for its basket of oil fell below $20 this week as the Coronavirus ravaged demand around the world and a potential production cut agreement between OPEC and Russia broke down.
Venezuela, which reports its oil price in Chinese Remninbi, reported that its average price for the week ending March 20 was 137.08 yuan -- US$19.53 at the 7.0185 yuan to the dollar exchange rate the Ministry was using.
That is down $7.41 from the previous week.
Reports from the joint ventures in Venezuela say prices were actually lower, far below even $10 a barrel.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) basket averaged $29.83, after losing $7.69 from the previous week's $37.52.
The U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) fell from $34.25 to $ 26.59, down $7.66.
The Brent European benchmark fell from $37.17 to $ 29.2, down $7.97 on the week.
According to OPEC, Venezuela pumped an average of 760,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil in February, less than 22% of what it pumped in 1998 before Hugo Chavez took control of the country.
Last month, Nicolás Maduro declared the oil industry in an emergency, forming a commission that is headed by the regime's vice president, Tareck el Aissami -- who is also sanctioned by the U.S. which has seized over $500 million in accounts linked to him. The Commission is charged with reorganizing the state-owned PDVSA, which is the country's main revenue generator.
Venezuela, a founding member of OPEC, has the largest oil reserves in the world at over 302 billion barrels of oil.