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Venezuela plans to increase oil production to 1.5 million b/d this year

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Venezuela plans to increase oil production to 1.5 million barrels per day in 2021, Report states, citing Investing.com.

"We have a goal to reach 1.5 million b/d, which will be sold around the world, with new mechanisms for production, financing, and marketing," President of the country Nicolas Maduro said in his annual address to the people. He recalled that in March 2015, before introducing US sanctions against Venezuela, PDVSA maintained production at the level of 2.15 million b/d.

"In the period from 2014 to 2019, oil production fell by 69% due to the industry's inability to access financing and the ban on the sale of oil. Venezuela's losses since 2015 amounted to about $ 100 billion. We lasted 13 months without selling a drop of oil to the world, " he said.

The Venezuelan President also called for working on returning the oil and gas company Citgo to the its ownership.

According to Maduro, if Venezuela manages to regain its resources, it could resume oil production to about 2 million barrels per day.

Notably, the largest hub that helps Venezuela sell its oil to circumvent US sanctions is the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Reuters' special investigation notes that the new intermediaries between PDVSA and buyers of Venezuelan oil were the UAE-registered companies Muhit Maritime FZE, Issa Shipping, and Asia Charm.

In March 2020, Venezuelan oil prices fell to 5-10 US dollars per barrel.

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Azerbaijan confirms 332 new Covid-19 cases, 12 died

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Azerbaijan recorded 332 new coronavirus cases, Task Force under the Cabinet of Ministers told Report.

As many as 897 people recovered from the infection, while 12 patients lost their lives over the past day.

So far, 228,028 people have contracted COVID-19 in Azerbaijan, 217,617 have recovered, while 3,044 died. At present, 7,367 people are receiving treatment.

Azerbaijan has conducted 2,336,498 coronavirus tests over the past period, including 7,991 today.

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EU Ambassador expresses condolences to families of 20 January victims

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"On this day of sorrow, together with the people of Azerbaijan, the EU delegation is mourning the victims of the 'Black January' tragedy," said the head of the EU Delegation to Azerbaijan Kestutis Jankauskas.

"The tragic events underline the need for peace, reconciliation, and humanity for a better future. I express my deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims of the January events," the EU ambassador added.

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Netflix to screen popular novel

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US Netflix will screen Roald Dahl's Matilda, Report mentions, citing The Hollywood Report.

The film will star 11-year-old Alisha Weir. Oscar-winner Emma Thompson will play the role of Agatha Trunchbull, a cruel director in the novel.

According to the plot, Matilda is a wunderkind. But parents treat her with disdain, and the school principal makes fun of her. Matilda decides to reprimand them.

The previous screening of the tale took place in 1996. The film was directed by Danny De Vito and played by Mara Wilson.

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