Woodlands – Venezuela: Geopolitical Realities, Energy Impacts of the Ukraine War & U.S. Foreign Policy
About the Event:
Having been a career Venezuelan diplomat in the early years of Chavez, then having to leave the country and now as an acclaimed international energy law expert, Julian Cardenas Garcia has unique insights into the realities of Venezuela, its energy industry and how it is approached by the U.S. and the world.
Although it possesses the world’s largest proven oil reserves, in only 8 years, Venezuelan oil production has collapsed by over 70% as a result of gross mismanagement, lack of investment, corruption and sanctions. Along with huge reductions in oil proceeds, the country has experienced massive economic, political and societal upheaval. Over 6 million refugees have fled Venezuela to the other nations in South America, the U.S. and beyond – the second highest number of refugees in the world after Syria.
A new, crucial global development might shape the prospects of the Venezuelan people. Russia’s war on Ukraine may have deep implications for Venezuela and how global players now view the Maduro regime. With the West’s dire need to make up for disruptions of Russian oil, the U.S. and its allies might be willing to quietly view Venezuela as the lesser of two evils and relax sanctions. Venezuela may be able to increase its oil production and revenues. But questions remain as to what is actually possible, and if the results could embolden the regime or make it more willing to negotiate.
Cardenas Garcia will discuss realities on the ground in Venezuela and the complicated influence of global powers such as the U.S., China and Russia. He will also address: the outlook for Venezuela; the state of the political opposition; and roles to be played by major regional actors, such as: Colombia, Peru, Chile and Brazil.
About the Speaker:
Julián Cárdenas García is a research professor at the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources Center of the University of Houston Law Center where he teaches Transnational Investment Law and Arbitration, Transnational Petroleum Law, and Diplomacy and Geopolitics of Oil and Gas. He is also a visiting professor in Arbitration and Energy Law at the Universidad Externado in Colombia, at the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo Leon, in Monterrey, Mexico, and the University of the State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
His current consulting practice focuses on investment regulation for projects in the oil and gas sector and promoting industry best practices for onshore and offshore upstream projects. He frequently works with companies, public authorities, and governments in various areas of oil and gas law and policy. Since June 2019, he sits on the Ad Hoc Administrative Board of Directors of Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), the Venezuelan National Oil Company.
Cárdenas García served as career diplomat at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Venezuela working on multilateral issues dealing with the United Nations and the Organization of American States, and sovereign border issues with Trinidad, Guyana, Colombia and Brazil.