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Venezuela's oil production in question

Published On: Mar 07 2013 06:00:00 PM CST
Updated On: Mar 07 2013 10:15:13 PM CST

It's no secret, the country of Venezuela has some of the biggest oil and natural gas reserves in the world.

It's no secret, the country of Venezuela has some of the biggest oil and natural gas reserves in the world.

However during Hugo Chavez's 14 year reign, one of the country's biggest exports plummeted.

"He used the export of oil in very strategic ways....If you look at the stats it will show that our exporting of oil has gone down with time. Before we used to export about 3.5 million of barrels of oil a day now we're in the two million," said finance expert Victor Vargas.

Critics say Chavez did little to invest in his country's oil infrastructure leading to a dramatic drop in production, but if his successor turns the tide we may see a drop in gas prices in the long run.

According to a spokesperson with Gasbuddy.com, an organization which monitors fuel prices, the only way prices would spike is if an uprising takes place in the wake of Chavez's death similar to what happened when Libya's leader Muammar Gaddafi died in 2011.

Venezuelans like Vargas are optimistic.

"I think that Venezuela's best days are ahead of us when it comes to the economy and our exporting and importing," he said.

The country now has to pick its next president within 30 days of Chavez's passing and the likely contenders couldn't be more different.

The choice may be between Chavez's right hand man and vice president Nicholas Maduro who's already in a position of strength or Henrique Capriles who ran against Chavez in October of last year, on a platform of modernizing the Venezuelan economy and lost.

Regardless of who succeeds him, one thing is for sure, the Venezuelan people will be writing a new chapter in their country's history.

"I think Venezuela needs a president that is willing to listen to other countries and to other presidents from other countries and is willing to work with other countries as well for the benefit of Venezuela,” said Vargas.