Perry sees Venezuelan oil output dropping until regime changes

By Tina Davis on 3/12/2019

NEW YORK (Bloomberg) -- U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry said the decline of oil output from Venezuela will continue until there’s a change of leadership.

The International Energy Agency said Monday it expects Venezuelan output to fall to 800,000 bpd this year. Power outages in the nation have slowed production that has already been dropping in the aftermath of U.S. sanctions on Petroleos de Venezuela SA, the state-owned oil company.

“I think that until there is a change of leadership there, that being able to get their oil and gas production back in a positive direction is going to be threatened,” Perry told reporters at a press gathering during the CERAWeek by IHS Markit conference in Houston.

The U.S. and dozens of other nations support opposition leader Juan Guaido, who has challenged President Nicolas Maduro’s government by declaring himself interim president, while Maduro refuses to step down.

“The United States stands ready to assist the people of Venezuela to get that country back in a positive direction from the standpoint of their economy, and that is based upon their oil and gas industry,” Perry said. “Hopefully, that will occur soon and the future of Venezuela can be positive again. But that will not happen until, from my perspective and I think in the administration’s perspective, until there is a change in leadership and Maduro’s gone.”

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