May 09, 2008
CARACAS -- Venezuela's top oil official said the country's proven crude oil reserves have increased by 30 percent.
Oil Minister Rafael Ramírez said Venezuela now has 130 billion barrels of proven oil reserves -- the largest outside the Middle East.
Ramírez told a meeting of South American energy ministers Thursday that the country added 30 billion barrels to its total last month and plans to quantify additional heavy crude deposits in the country's Orinoco River basin.
Venezuela was the fifth-largest oil supplier to the United States in February, the last month for which data was available.