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Liam Denning

Venezuela Has Some Bad News and Some Really Bad News

The country's oil production has collapsed; the only question is just how badly.

I think we can all agree that, absent a war or some deliberate strategy, a 14 percent drop in a country's oil production in the space of one year is not a good thing. Even worse, though, is a 29 percent drop.

These two realities, both undesirable, were presented for Venezuela in OPEC's latest monthly report, out Thursday. The oil-exporters' club publishes two sets of production figures for each member: namely, what the countries report themselves and a consensus figure from secondary sources.