Oil industry in Latin America - statistics & facts
Despite playing an important role in the global market and the economy of countries like Brazil, Mexico, and Venezuela, the oil industry in Latin America has seen better days. The region is home to nearly one fifth of global oil reserves, ranking only behind the Middle East in terms of volume. Yet, in 2021, it accounted for less than ten percent of the oil production worldwide, a share which has been consistently declining in the past decade.
Meanwhile, Mexico faces a different situation, in spite of ranking second in Latin America and twelfth in the world in terms of crude oil production. Pemex, the state-owned company which once had exclusive rights over oil production and distribution in the country, has experienced a major production crisis in the past few years. Since 2019, the company’s crude oil output has remained below 1.8 million barrels per day, a decrease of over 30 percent when compared to a decade earlier.
Even more critical, Venezuela – which holds the largest oil reserves in the world – has seen its oil production decline by more than 80 percent in the past ten years. In fact, the once oil titan has recently lost its long-standing position amongst the top three Latin American oil producers, surpassed by Colombia. In addition, increasing economic sanctions have had a negative impact in the country’s oil exports, especially to the U.S. Nevertheless, the impact on revenue from a declining oil export volume might be at least somewhat counterbalanced by soaring crude oil prices in the aftermath of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
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