The travails of Venezuela are no secret, with the government facing extreme political upheaval and an economic disaster. Oil output, on which the government depends, has been tanking for years and fell 550,000 b/d to 1.4mn b/d in 2018. The losses have kept on coming so far in 2019. Crude oil export numbers have fared somewhat better, down ‘just’ 323,000 b/d to 1.27mn b/d in 2018 according to Opec’s Annual Statistical Bulletin.

Amid the economic meltdown, the number of active rigs – a key barometer of the oil sector – has tumbled accordingly. Data from Baker Hughes shows 2018 averaged just 32 rigs, down from 49 the previous year. That number was 74 as recently as 2014. (CONTINUED - 196 WORDS)