Exploration activities continued at a high level in Argentina and Brazil, but declined practically to a standstill in Venezuela. South American production of crude averaged almost 3,500,000 b./d. in 1960, and was 5% higher than in 1959; most of the increase came from Venezuela, Argentina, and Brazil. The government of Venezuela set up an agency to operate as a national oil company, thus increasing to 8 the number of governments in the Western Hemisphere participating directly in petroleum exploration and production operations by this means.

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