What Is the Real Price of Gasoline In Venezuela?

There are two officially authorized prices, one for supplying the fuel at a subsidized price, and the other for service stations at international, or dollarized, prices

A man fills his tank with gasoline in Cúcuta, Colombia.
May 16, 2023 | 07:45 PM

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Caracas — The price of gasoline in Venezuela, where the low cost once impressed the rest of the world, is now variable, mainly due to the difficulties in procuring the fuel.

Since the arrival of the pandemic in the country in 2020, gasoline prices were officially divided into two: subsidized and international, but which still remains among the cheapest in the world.

The decision to control prices, in view of the shortage and supply failures, caused long queues of motorists throughout the oil-producing nation, and fixed gasoline prices at $0.50 per liter of premium, high-octane gasoline, and 5,000 bolivars ($0.02 according to the exchange rate) per liter of subsidized gasoline.

In the case of fuel categorized in dollars, the price has not been modified; however, subsidized gasoline, as a result of the monetary modifications and some upward adjustments, was fixed at 0.10 bolivars per liter the following year, representing an increase of 1,900% in local currency.


Currently, the price of subsidized gasoline is 0.60 bolivars per liter ($0.02), which are allocated through quotas available in the ‘Patria’ system, a digital platform controlled by the Venezuelan government.

However, complications for access to the cheaper gasoline continue, and this has also generated the proliferation of irregular groups led by military, collectives and workers, who add on additional charges to motorists.

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In the service stations in Caracas that have this modality, $5 buys 15 liters of gasoline, in a separate queue from the regular one, according to people consulted by Bloomberg Línea.


In the interior of the country, access to gasoline is worsening, and in border states such as Táchira, Zulia and Delta Amacuro, there are not even gas stations offering the fuel at subsidized prices. In Delta Amacuro, located in eastern Venezuela, a liter of gasoline can be obtained for up to $3, and is mainly used by boatmen for river transfers.

In Zulia or Táchira, bordering Colombia, consumers can resort to irregularly imported gasoline from the neighboring country at a cost of $0.80 or $0.90 per liter. In Maracaibo, the capital of the state of Zulia, an additional payment of $5 or $10 can also be required for faster access to gas stations selling gasoline at a dollarized price, and which is paid separately.

In addition to the complexity of procuring supplying gasoline in a country with the world’s largest oil reserves, fuel has also been low quality in the last year, causing serious damage to vehicles due to its lower octane levels.

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