The National Council Area Chapter of the U.S. Association for Energy Economics (NCAC-USAEE) held a public online event on July 1, 2020 to discuss current challenges facing Venezuela’s energy sector, including US sanctions, declining crude output, gasoline shortages, and relations with Iran and Russia. Lisa Viscidi, Director of the Energy, Climate Change & Extractive Industries Program at the Dialogue, moderated the event and Risa Grais-Targow, Director of Latin America at Eurasia Group, appeared as the featured speaker.
Lisa Viscidi, director of the Energy, Climate Change & Extractive Industries Program, spoke with Trinidad Express about US sanctions, Venezuela’s struggling energy sector, and Iranian support.
Once a major OPEC producer, Venezuela has witnessed a spectacular fall in oil production over the last 20 years under Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro. In 2019, U.S. sanctions hastened this decline. Will Venezuela ever reclaim its place as a top oil producer?
Lisa Viscidi and Nate Graham spoke with S&P Global Platts about the findings of a new report which argues that Western oil companies will be needed to revive Venezuela’s oil sector. They discuss the obstacles that could affect whether these firms increase production in the country under a new government, including US sanctions uncertainty, high taxes, and a shortage of workers and working infrastructure.
Manuel Orozco interviews with Gabriela Fías of CNN Global Portfolio to discuss the relationship between political instability and remittances, highlighting the impact of US foreign policy on Latin American countries.
With Venezuela’s state oil company in disarray, international oil companies will be the key to tapping the country’s oil resources. The Inter-American Dialogue interviewed eight large Western oil companies about the conditions that will determine how rapidly, and to what degree, they start or ramp up operations in Venezuela following a political transition.
Michael Shifter, president of the Inter-American Dialogue, was interviewed by CNN International on the anti-Maduro protests taking place in Venezuela as well as the role of Cuba in the Maduro regime.
El 22 de marzo el presidente Donald Trump se reunió en Mar-a-Lago con delegados de cinco naciones caribeñas. Uno de los motivos para la reunión era hablar sobre Venezuela. Lisa Viscidi habló con NTN24 sobre la dependencia de las naciones caribeñas del petróleo venezolano, que se les prestaba por muchos años como parte del programa Petrocaribe con tasas de interés bajas y periodos de repago largos, y la continua afinidad ideológica de algunos países con Venezuela.
Energy Program Director Lisa Viscidi spoke with CGTN about US sanctions on Venezuela and the effects they are having, both in terms of raising the pressure on Nicolás Maduro and heightening the risk of deepening the country’s humanitarian crisis.
Even if Juan Guaido or another opposition figure finally takes the reins and starts fixing the oil sector in Venezuela, it will take years before oil exports can provide the economic boost needed to pull the nation out of the morass. Venezuela’s oil industry has been severely damaged, and there are questions about the long-term economic viability of its oil fields. Venezuelans will likely be disappointed with the pace of the economic turnaround under any new government—a risk that poses a real threat to political stability. Expectations ought to be tempered.
Could Venezuela’s oil production decline even more steeply? Three evolving developments will largely determine the answer: whether creditors can seize assets in compensation for default, whether large numbers of oil workers continue to abandon their jobs, and whether the United States and other countries impose additional sanctions.
The constituyente could set the stage for the Maduro government to consolidate its power, criminalize the opposition, and usher in a new and even darker phase in Venezuela’s crisis.
The Trump administration’s desire for meaningful action towards Venezuela is understandable, but it risks learning the wrong lessons from recent failures.