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Exploration and production activities in 1959 were stimulated in Argentina and Brazil, in a politically inspired effort to achieve self-sufficiency in petroleum, but were depressed in Venezuela, which sells the bulk of its production in competition with other major producing areas of the world.
In South America as a whole, crude oil production in 1959 was 3,244,900 b/d, only fractionally higher than in 1957. There were appreciable increases, as compared with 1957, in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Trinidad, totalling 113,100 b/d, this was offset by a decrease of 69,000 b/d in Venezuelan production.
Exploration activities were maintained at a high level in Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, and Colombia but decreased considerably in Venezuela, where large concession areas were voluntarily surrendered.
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