While the sanctions on Iran have been an ongoing story, the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez and the outcome of the ensuing succession process could have implications for that country's oil sector. For now, EIA is maintaining its Venezuelan production forecast on the assumption that current policies related to the oil sector are continued. For more information, see "Political risks focus attention on supply of Venezuelan oil to the United States."
EIA has lowered its expectations for oil production in Libya to reflect persistence of the technical problems and political pressures that have already curtailed output. Libya's precarious security environment creates downside production risk from the potential for additional disruptions due to attacks, strikes, or poorly maintained infrastructure.
In Iraq, payment disputes between Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government are projected to lead to loss of output in the north that, at least partly, offsets increased crude oil exports from Iraq's southern fields. EIA, like many others, has frequently revised its expectations for Iraqi production growth downward because of ongoing political difficulties.
Since 2007, Angolan production increases have been followed by subsequent declines. Technical and maintenance problems have plagued some of Angola's deepwater fields for years, particularly the Greater Plutonio project, and will continue to limit Angola's crude oil production over the STEO forecast period. Nonetheless, EIA still anticipates Angolan crude oil output to gradually increase over the next two years as new deepwater production more than offsets chronic maintenance–related declines.