Havoc in the oil world over the past two years has had a major impact on the finances of Saudi Arabia. However, those depleted revenues pale in comparison to what has happened in another oil-rich country, Venezuela, with the financial wreckage that’s resulted causing severe food shortages and rampant inflation.
In this particular case, Venezuela has the largest supply of oil reserves in the entire world. Of course, that does them no good when demand comes nowhere near the abundant supply available, circumstances that caused most countries to cut back production.
Since Saudi Arabia has been one of the key holdouts in making such cuts, Venezuela’s president Nicolas Maduro is in the process of some high-profile diplomacy in urging a shift. One of his first contacts was with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman before additional interactions with countries like Russia, Qatar and Iran also planned.
While the Saudis have reportedly been more open to decreasing output, this contact marks the second time in 2016 that the two countries have discussed the on-going problem. Back in February, the countries’ two oil ministers met in Riyadh to discuss the possibility of production cutbacks.
After that meeting, both oil ministers cryptically described the meeting as being “successful,” yet nothing transpired. The desperation from Venezuela subsided somewhat when prices began to rise, though those increases began to fade by June. Over just the past two months, oil prices have dropped 15 percent, making the collapsed Venezuelan economy even more of a disaster area.
Clinging to whatever lifeline they can grab, Venezuela agreed on August 18 to form a technical commission with Saudi Arabia. While oil is one component of this agreement, other sectors that will see a greater connection between the two nations include the worlds of finance, culture, education and agriculture.