Venezuela’s political situation vis-à-vis its external front has divided international relations among the countries that endorse or not an intervention against the country and a change of regime.
Consequently, the country and the position of President Nicolás Maduro’s government are the most contradictory point in the global dispute, and this explains the hyper-propagandation of the Venezuelan case by placing Chavismo in political power as an isolated instance. Meanwhile, the United States and some of its allies are trying to shape the parallel and artificial government of Juan Guaidó.
Venezuela has also been the object of a large-scale psychological operation, in which inside and especially outside the country there is an enormous disinformation campaign that attempts to present President Maduro and his government as “criminal” and at the same time “defeated” forces. In that narrative, Juan Guaidó himself has been a participant, encouraging the internal conflict and trying to moralize the opposition’s support base, pointing out supposed conversations with the allies of Venezuela, Russia and China, who according to Guaidó “would be leaving Maduro alone”.
However, Reuters recently released a statement by Russia’s largest oil producer, Rosneft, about its prospects in Venezuela. Such a pronouncement dismantles part of the narrative imposed on the Caribbean nation.
According to Reuters, Rosneft asserts that the current political turmoil in Venezuela would be “only temporary,” pointing out that the country has reduced its debt to the company. Rosneft also said he expected his own total oil production in Venezuela to increase in 2019.
Elements in detail
PDVSA is paying debts to Rosneft through oil supplies. Reuters indicates that in a presentation on its website, Rosneft pointed out that the principal amount of PDVSA’s debt with Rosneft was 2.3 billion dollars, a significant decrease compared to the 3.1 billion dollars of debt that the state-owned oil company had with the Russian company just three months ago.
Russians do not expect oil production to decrease in their projects in Venezuela this year, Rosneft First Vice President Eric Liron told Reuters in a conference call, reaffirming that the company saw the current situation in Venezuela as “temporary.
Rosneft’s bet on Venezuela is clearly linked and sharpened by the current relationship between Caracas and Moscow, a relationship that would have no hold on an eventual regime change in Venezuela through U.S. manufacturing.
It is also evident on the part of Rosneft, his confidence in the board of the Venezuelan government to maneuver the current siege front against the country, through the support and efforts of a group of instances and countries, including the Kremlin itself, in favoring a decrease in the current critical knot of the conflict in Venezuela and prevent it from escalating into war situations.
The recent de facto confiscation of PDVSA’s subsidiary in the United States, Citgo, and the exclusion of Venezuela from the U.S. oil markets, despite the evident damage it will have on the Venezuelan economy, could also have the effect of the Venezuelan State deepening relations with its allies, and on this point Rosneft’s maneuvering range in Venezuela is extended. The Central Bank also recently rolled out a new exchange system that would greatly facilitate the development of foreign investment.
Venezuela is a focus of geopolitical interest because of its huge certified oil reserves of more than 300 billion barrels of crude. The highest in the world. But in fact, such a calculation in reserves lies in the calculation of an oil recovery factor of 20%.
Venezuela and China are developing new technologies for extra-heavy Venezuelan crude extraction and are trying to bring the oil recovery factor to 40%. This means that Venezuelan reserves could be catalogued, in the medium term, at least 500 billion barrels of crude.