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Venezuela Oil Output in April Drops to 16-Year Low - US Energy Department

© AP Photo / Fernando LlanoStorage tanks stand in a PDVSA state-run oil company crude oil complex near El Tigre, a town located within Venezuela's Hugo Chavez oil belt, formally known as the Orinoco Belt
Storage tanks stand in a PDVSA state-run oil company crude oil complex near El Tigre, a town located within Venezuela's Hugo Chavez oil belt, formally known as the Orinoco Belt - Sputnik International
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Venezuela’s oil production hit a 16 year low in April as a result of mismanagement as well as US sanctions against the nation’s energy sector, the Energy Information Administration said in a report on Monday.

In April, Venezuela's crude oil production averaged 830,000 barrels per day (b/d), down from 1.2 million b/d at the beginning of the year," the report said.

"This average is the lowest level since January 2003, when a nationwide strike and civil unrest largely brought the operations of Venezuela's state oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PdVSA), to a halt."

Widespread power outages, mismanagement of the country's oil industry and US sanctions directed at Venezuela's energy sector and PDVSA have all contributed to the recent declines, the report said.

Venezuela's oil company PDVSA - Sputnik International
Treasury: Venezuela's Institutions Should Support Guaido to Get Sanctions Relief
The document also predicted that oil production would continue falling and possibly accelerate throughout 2019 as sanctions-related deadlines pass.

The deadlines include provisions that third-party entities using the US financial system halt transactions with PDVSA by 28 April and that US companies, including oil service companies and companies involved in the oil sector must cease operations in Venezuela by 27 July, the report said.

The situation in Venezuela has been tense since January when US-backed opposition leader Guaido illegally declared himself the country's interim president after disputing Maduro's re-election.

READ MORE: Spanish Police Raid Office of Ex-Venezuelan Ambassador Over PDVSA Case — Sources

The United States and 54 countries have recognized Guaido. However, Russia, China, Cuba, Bolivia, Turkey and a number of other countries have said they recognize Maduro as the only legitimate president of Venezuela.

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