Venezuela's government opened up its oil fields to foreign development and exploration on July 1, 1944. This map is a survey of the Northern Venezuelan oil fields as of that date and indicates the location of oil fields and pipe lines, state and local boundaries and graphically maps the oil claim sites. The Map Key identifies the financial interests of the Venezuelan government and foreign oil exploration and petroleum manufacturing companies. The American company names include The Texas Petroleum Company and Socony-Vacuum Oil Company. Royal Dutch Shell is on the list, Gulf Oil Corporation and several others.
The map provides a visual starting point for the energy development policy of the Venezuelan government with foreign corporations, including those in the United States. And this map also illuminates the historic doorway into United States relations with a major world oil supplier and the consequences for Venezuela then and now. Oil remains a prime energy resource for the industrialized world. This map is a historic document about a major oil field region in the Americas and pinpoints the strategic timing during WWII of it going on line internationally.