An introductory chapter of world wide petroleum history is followed by a comprehensive record of the petroliferous basins of Venezuela. Exploration, productivity, production statistics, reserves, geologic structures, and the distribution of oil and gas fields are described separately for the Maracaibo-Falcon basin, Apure-Barinas basin, E. Venezuela basin, and Tuy-Cariaco basin. The descriptions include geographic distribution, geomorphologic outline of the basins, lithology and thickness of sediments, structural development, present structural conditions in which oil and gas fields occur, and their distribution in the basins. Economic factors are discussed in an appendix. 145 references.