CARACAS, Venezuela — OPEC's latest figures have Venezuela as the country with the biggest proven crude oil reserves ahead of Saudi Arabia. But analysts said Wednesday it's an increase largely on paper and unlikely to lead to changes within the organization or affect oil markets.
Venezuela's proven crude reserves have risen to 296.5 billion barrels, surpassing Saudi Arabia's more than 264.5 billion barrels, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said in its annual report last week.
Jason Schenker, an energy analyst and president of Austin, Texas-based Prestige Economics LLC, and other analysts said Venezuela's reserves have apparently grown by including more of the country's extra-heavy crude, which is much more difficult and expensive to extract from the ground and to process than oil found elsewhere.
Hurricane Dora grows in eastern Pacific
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ACAPULCO, Mexico — Hurricane Dora rapidly grew into a Category 4 storm off Mexico's Pacific coast Wednesday while keeping out to sea and threatening coastal areas only with rain and tropical storm-strength winds.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said Wednesday night that the storm had top sustained winds of 135 mph. It said Dora's center was about 235 miles southwest of Lazaro Cardenas, Mexico, and moving west-northwest at 16 mph.
The fourth hurricane of the eastern Pacific season was forecast to stay offshore as it moved parallel to the coast for the next day or so. It could strengthen more before weakening begins Friday, forecasters said.