March 15, 2019 / 5:56 PM / 6 days ago

U.S. envoy says Venezuela oil production dropping steadily

FILE PHOTO: United States diplomat Elliott Abrams takes notes during a meeting of the U.N. Security Council called to vote on a U.S. draft resolution calling for free and fair presidential elections in Venezuela at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., February 28, 2019. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. special representative for Venezuela said on Friday that Venezuela’s oil exports have been dropping steadily by roughly 50,000 barrels per month and production is likely to dip below a million barrels a day within a “month or two.”

“They are heading down toward a million now, and in a month or two will be below a million” barrels per day, U.S. envoy Elliott Abrams told a news briefing, adding that the decline seen in recent days could partly be attributed to the blackouts that had crippled the country. “It’s a steady decline.”

The OPEC member’s oil production has dwindled in the last two decades, from more than 3 million bpd at the beginning of the century to between 1.2 million and 1.4 million bpd by late 2018. Most of the crude it produces now is heavy or extra heavy.

Reporting by Lesley Wroughton; Writing by David Alexander

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