Orinoco Belt

Orinoco Belt

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Orinoco Belt

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The Orinoco Belt is a territory which occupies the southern strip of the eastern Orinoco River Basin in Venezuela. Its local Spanish name is Faja Petrolífera del Orinoco (Orinoco Petroleum Belt).

The Orinoco Belt is located south of the Guárico, Anzoátegui, Monagas, and Delta Amacuro states, and it follows the line of the river. It is approximately from east to west, and from north to south, with an area about .

Oil reserves

The Orinoco Belt consists of large deposits of extra heavy crude (oil sands), known as the Orinoco Oil Sands or the Orinoco Tar Sands. The Orinoco Tar Sands are known to be one of the largest, behind that of the Athabasca Oil Sands in Alberta, Canada. Venezuela's non-conventional oil deposits of about , found primarily in the Orinoco oil sands, are estimated to approximately equal the world's reserves of conventional oil. Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. has estimated that the producible reserves of the Orinoco Belt are up to which would make it the largest petroleum reserve in the world, before Saudi Arabia .

In 2009, USGS updated this value to . It is currently divided into four exploration and production areas. These are: Boyacá (before Machete), Junín (before Zuata), Ayacucho (before Hamaca), and Carabobo (before Cerro Negro). The current exploration area is about...
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