Venezuela Flaring Nearly 2 Bcf/d Of Gas As Oil Output Falls

(Energy Analytics Institute, Piero Stewart, 4.Apr.2019) — Venezuela, home to the world’s largest oil reserves and one of Latin America’s larger oil producers, is flaring around 2 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of natural gas associated with the production of the country’s bread-and-butter commodity, Gas Energy Latin America partner Antero Alvarado announced April 4.

“The main reason gas is being lost is because it is not being re-injected into oil reservoirs and as no progress has been made related to hydrocarbon recovery projects,” Alvarado said during a conference at the IESA business school in Caracas, Venezuela. “The bulk of the gas, nearly 1.7 Bcf/d, is being flared in the north of Monagas state.”

Resource-rich Venezuela is home to gas reserves of 225 trillion feet (Tcf) as of year-end 2017, according to BP data. Venezuela, which has yet to connect pipelines between the highly industrialized western region of the country and the gas producing eastern region, typically re-injects associated gas production to assist in the oil recovery process.

In 2015, the last year state oil company PDVSA published data about its operations, the company said that Venezuela produced 2.7 million barrels per day (MMb/d) of oil and 7.8 Bcf/d of gas, of which 2.5 Bcf/d was re-injected. Venezuela re-injected nearly 2.9 Bcf/d in 2011, PDVSA said.

Venezuela’s ol and gas sectors have experienced a melt down over the last 15 years and the combination of lower investments, stalled recovery and pipeline projects as well as collapsing oil production, which reached 1 MMb/d in February 2019 according to OPEC, are factors that continue to contribute to the high flaring volumes in this South American producing country.

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© Energy Analytics Institute (EAI)

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