The aggressive push to decarbonize the world economy is forcing big oil to examine how the carbon emissions of its operations can be reduced with a goal of becoming carbon neutral. That coupled with the threat of peak oil demand has seen oil supermajors reevaluate their business strategy, with many now choosing to eschew high-cost carbon-intensive petroleum projects. This poses a major threat to Venezuela and the crisis-torn petrostate’s economic recovery. The OPEC member possesses the world’s largest oil reserves, estimated to be around 304 billion barrels or enough crude oil to meet global consumption for roughly 8 years. Most of Venezuela’s petroleum reserves, as much as 77% or possibly more, are composed of the extra-heavy and heavy crude oil found in the Orinoco Belt in the East Venezuela Basin. That heavy and extra-heavy crude oil, most of which is very sour and has an API gravity of 10 degrees or less, is highly…

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