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Oil extraction: Venezuela, Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea

The Venezuelan government has taken action against high-level energy officials and a former oil minister in connection with an investigation into lost revenues, high treason, and money laundering at Petróleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA). Additionally, the local authorities plan to hire a little-known local company, A&B Investments, to take over key oil fields in the oil-rich Orinoco Belt that were previously operated by American ConocoPhillips, together with PDVSA.

Equatorial Guinea’s oil extraction sector is facing significant difficulties. Total oil production in the country has dropped to about one-third of its peak since the oil boom in the early 2000s. ExxonMobil Corporation’s departure from the country after almost 30 years of operations has further exacerbated the situation. The arrests of foreigners working in the oil sector have also contributed to a bleak outlook for Equatorial Guinea. According to IMF data, the country’s economic growth is expected to decline by 5.5% this year, making it the worst performing economy in the world.

New regulations in Nigeria require all oil producers to sell their oil to domestic refineries to decrease the country’s dependence on imported refined products. Only after fulfilling their domestic supply obligations will producers be permitted to export oil. Nigeria has at least five modular refineries that produce diesel and kerosene, in addition to the Dangote refinery, which can produce 650,000 barrels per day. The state-owned Port Harcourt refinery is also set to come online this year.

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