November 13, 2017 / 2:22 PM / 2 years ago

Venezuela oil output hits near 30-year low, below 2 mln bpd - OPEC

CARACAS, Nov 13 (Reuters) - Oil-dependent Venezuela’s crude output dipped last month below 2 million barrels per day, its lowest level in nearly three decades, global producer group OPEC said on Monday.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ latest monthly data showed Venezuela reporting production of 1.955 million bpd in October, versus 2.085 million in September.

The figure was even lower based on secondary sources rather than what the government reports, at 1.863 million bpd in October, according to OPEC.

Venezuela depends on oil for more than 95 percent of hard currency export revenues, and the falling production could not come at a worse time with the economy in crisis and the socialist government struggling to pay its foreign debt.

Venezuela’s state oil company PDVSA is the financial motor for President Nicolas Maduro’s government, but has been suffering from the oil price drop, crippling operational problems, and internal corruption.

Venezuela reported to OPEC annual oil output of 2.373 million bpd in 2016 and 2.654 million in 2015.

Even though OPEC does not publish historical data on the output reported by members as far back as the 1980s, the last time Venezuela produced less than 2 million bpd was in 1989 according to Oil Ministry figures. (Writing by Andrew Cawthorne; Editing by Marianna Parraga and Susan Thomas)

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