The Oil Sowing Plan in its first stage until 2012 anticipates a USD 76 billion investment to produce 5.8 million bpd of oil and 11.5 billion cubic feet of gas. Venezuelan oil proven reserves amounted to 211.17 billion barrels ending 2009, and gas reserves about 174 trillion cubic feet
Venezuelan oil and gas reserves are endless. Thousand million barrels of light, medium and heavy oil and trillion cubic feet of free and associated petroleum gas are in the Venezuelan territory, thus reaffirming the country's oil potential.
According to official numbers, Venezuela's certified oil reserves total 211.17 billion barrels, about 23.1 percent more than the reported amount in 2008, following the addition of new areas both of the traditional fields and the extra-heavy oil from the Orinoco Oil Belt.
The numbers put Venezuela well above Canada, Iraq, Iran, Kuwait and UAE.
Such reserves could be larger if the total reserves at the Orinoco Oil Belt, which are being certified on the site (on site original petroleum) by company Ryder Scott, are to be included.
In the field of gas, the number is significantly high.
Reserves of gas are near 170.9 trillion cubic feet, or 2.6 percent of world share, based on 2009 numbers released by the BP Statistical Review of World Energy, ranking Venezuela ninth in the world.
However, by adding 3.7 trillion cubic feet of gas recently included by state-run oil holding Petróleos de Venezuela (Pdvsa) such number could fairly cross the barrier of 174.6 trillion cubic feet.
Anyhow, reference is made to many barrels of oil and barrels of gas equivalent that Venezuelans cannot imagine, not even the inhabitants of most developed and remote areas in the country, who daily walk on the richest deposits.
In the opinion of Mazhar Al-Shereidah, a professor of petroleum graduate studies at the Central University of Venezuela (UCV), undoubtedly, from the quantitative view, the country holds substantial and significant oil and natural gas reserves.
"This enables us to speak of potential, because it is like having a fertile ground with a good irrigation system," the oil expert said.
Nevertheless, he added that for the purposes of production, necessary investment must be made "for this crop to materialize."
But the world context cannot be forgotten, because oil and byproducts are particularly for export and because there are other countries with high potential in the world.
In his view, investment should be prioritized to cash in on the value of reserves.
"A strategic planning of investment and also of reading my country's share in the market is needed," he added.
The expert stressed that domestic consumption of refined products should be also rationalized, under the concept of energy efficiency, for the purposes of export. In this way, they will get a higher commercial value.
Translated by Conchita Delgado