Chevron (CVX) Resumes Drilling Operations in Venezuela

Chevron (CVX) Resumes Drilling Operations in Venezuela - Merchant Navy Info - News

Chevron Corporation CVX restarted drilling operations in a pristine field in Venezuela. Marking a powerful move to boost production amid challenging geopolitical circumstances. The drilling activities started in mid-February. Aiming to exploit the heavy crude area of the Orinoco Belt. CVX’s primary avenue for improving production in Venezuela.

Strategic Importance of the Orinoco Belt

The targeted area in the Orinoco Belt represents CVX’s most profitable opportunity for near-term production escalation within Venezuela. The company’s other operational fields will face declining output in the foreseeable future. The Orinoco Belt emerges as a key focal point for sustaining and enhancing CVX’s presence in the country.

Ambitious Drilling Plans

Chevron’s plan includes drilling up to 30 new wells by 2025, signaling a robust commitment to expanding operations in Venezuela. This ambitious task is projected to substantially raise the overall production ability of CVX’s joint ventures with the state-owned oil company Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA) by 35%. Culminating in an estimated daily output of 250,000 barrels by 2025.

Regulatory Considerations

The resumption of drilling activities has been facilitated by a license issued to CVX by the U.S. Treasury in 2022. This regulatory clearance assumes significance amid exaggerated fears regarding the potential reinstatement of sanctions against Venezuela.

Despite growing political dynamics and uncertainties surrounding the Maduro regime, the license affords Chevron a degree of protection, enabling the company to pursue production increases while adhering to prescribed limitations on field expansion.

Operational Focus: Petroindependencia Field

Chevron’s operational activities are primarily concentrated within the Petroindependencia field, situated in the expansive plains of the Orinoco Belt. Renowned as the world’s biggest repository of extra-heavy oil reserves. This field offers immense potential for scalable production.

Chevron’s strategic shifting includes plans to deploy a second drilling rig at the site in July, highlighting the company’s commitment to tapping the region’s untapped resources.

Infrastructure and Workforce Deployment

CVX has undertaken significant infrastructural and logistical preparations to align with its operational expansion initiatives. Administrative personnel have been relocated to proximate urban centers to streamline operational oversight. While essential service providers such as Weatherford International Plc. have been engaged to support drilling activities. These concerted efforts highlight Chevron’s comprehensive approach toward optimizing operational efficiency and maximizing output potential.

Market Implications and Export Dynamics

The resurgence of drilling activities in Venezuela holds profound implications for global oil markets. Particularly in the context of heightened U.S. scrutiny and sanctions. Venezuela’s oil exports to the United States have witnessed a notable upsurge despite prevailing geopolitical challenges. February 2024 recorded the highest daily export volume since Chevron’s operating license issuance in November 2022. However, the current export levels remain below pre-sanction thresholds, indicative of ongoing market volatility and geopolitical uncertainties.


Chevron’s resumption of drilling operations in Venezuela’s Orinoco Belt highlights the company’s strategic agility and commitment to navigating complex geopolitical terrain. By leveraging regulatory clearances and optimizing operational efficiencies, CVX aims to sustain and potentially enhance its production footprint within Venezuela while simultaneously addressing evolving market dynamics and regulatory imperatives. As the company advances its ambitious drilling agenda, it will closely monitor the evolving geopolitical landscape and its impact on global oil markets.

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