Expand chart
Reproduced from a chart by the U.S. Energy Information Administration; Chart: Axios Visuals

Venezuela's oil production has dropped to the lowest level in more than 15 years, driven by widespread power outages, mismanagement of the nation's oil industry, and U.S. sanctions directed at the nation's energy sector, according to new U.S. Energy Information Administration data.

By the numbers: In April 2019, Venezuela's oil production averaged 830,000 barrels per day, down from 1.2 million at the beginning of the year. That's the lowest level since January 2003.

  • "The number of active oil rigs — an indicator of future oil production — also fell from nearly 70 rigs in the first quarter of 2016 to 24 rigs in the first quarter of 2019," EIA states.

The intrigue: Via Bloomberg's Tina Davis: "Venezuela has gone from Latin America's largest oil producer to the fourth-largest, behind Brazil, Mexico and Colombia."

One level deeper: The sanctions on Venezuela — namely their impact on oil prices — could play a role with inflation too.

  • Oil prices hit a 3-week high Monday and are primed to rise further as the possible OPEC production cuts and U.S. sanctions on Venezuela and Iran are further priced into the market.
  • Gas prices have managed to hold throughout much of the U.S. this year, but prices now are facing a doubled-edged sword — the transition to more expensive summer gasoline blends and lower U.S. gasoline stocks, currently at a 7 million barrel deficit from 2018.

Go deeper: Oil prices fall after Venezuela's opposition uprising cools down

Go deeper

Trump's 2 chilling debate warnings

Photo: Morry Gash/Pool via Getty Images

One of the few groups in America with anything to celebrate after last night's loud, ugly, rowdy presidential "debate" was the violent, far-right Proud Boys, after President Trump pointedly refused to condemn white supremacist groups.

Why it matters: This was a for-the-history-books moment in a debate that was mostly headache-inducing noise. Trump failed to condemn racist groups after four months when millions marched for racial justice in the country's largest wave of activism in half a century.

Ina Fried, author of Login
34 mins ago - Technology

Candidates go online to cut through debate noise

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

While President Trump and Joe Biden fought to be heard in a rowdy debate Tuesday, both campaigns sought to draw digital battle lines and occupy online turf they could have all to themselves.

The big picture: Trump's impulsive Twitter style made a shambles of the debate format, but online the candidates were able to find niches where they couldn't be interrupted — and could motivate their supporters to donate, organize and turn out to vote.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
1 hour ago - Energy & Environment

Shell plans up to 9,000 job cuts by 2022

A Shell station in Brazil. Photo: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Royal Dutch Shell will shed up to 9,000 jobs as it undergoes a long-term restructuring around climate-friendly energy sources and continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic that has battered the oil industry.

Why it matters: The cuts could amount to over 10% of the company's global workforce, which was 83,000 at the end of 2019.