December 21, 2022

“Venezuela: 100 Years After First Oil” Featuring Dr. Francisco Monaldi, Rice University’s Baker Institute

While we can't believe that 2022 is coming to an end, we were thrilled to visit with Dr. Francisco Monaldi for 2022's final COBT episode all about Venezuela and Latin America's energy scene. Dr. Monaldi is a Fellow in Latin American Energy Policy, the Director of the Latin America Energy Program and a Lecturer in Energy Economics at Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy. Dr. Monaldi is extremely knowledgeable of the region, it's history, challenges and opportunities, and we thoroughly enjoyed our discussion.

To begin, Dr. Monaldi walked us through a presentation outlining the history of Venezuela's economic standing, the rise and fall of political leaders and their impact on the country's economy, public sector deficit, the history of the Venezuelan oil industry, and forecasted Venezuelan output up to 2050. It was a fantastic overview to launch our conversation covering the current conditions in Venezuela from a humanitarian standpoint, the relationship between Venezuela and Russia, the recent Chevron license and additional opportunities, geopolitical implications for the next President of Venezuela, investments and developments in Guyana and Suriname, energy observations for Latin America, the time and scale of investment required to drive Venezuelan recovery in production, Dr. Monaldi's view of the energy picture in Latin America in ten years, and much more. We are greatly appreciative of Dr. Monaldi for sharing his time and expertise with us all.

To kick us off, Mike Bradley noted movement in US natural gas prices in anticipation of the impending polar vortex, the EU approval to cap gas prices, and flagged an important current copper mining issue in Panama. Colin Fenton took a look back at 2022 market conditions and shared key themes along with an outlook for 2023.

Today's COBT is our last for the year. We will return on Wednesday, January 4th with the first episode of 2023 and until then, we wish you all a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah, and a Happy New Year!!

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Today we had the pleasure of connecting with NJ Ayuk for an Africa-focused energy discussion. NJ is the founder and CEO of Centurion Law Group, a Johannesburg-based energy-focused law firm, and the author of "Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy and Doing Deals."

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