Analysis by the US Department of Energy (DoE) - seen by Newsnight - shows that at $50 a barrel Venezuela - not Saudi Arabia - will have the biggest oil reserves in Opec.
Venezuela has vast deposits of extra-heavy oil in the Orinoco. Traditionally these have not been counted because at $20 a barrel they were too expensive to exploit - but at $50 a barrel melting them into liquid petroleum becomes extremely profitable.
The DoE report shows that at today's prices Venezuela's oil reserves are bigger than those of the entire Middle East - including Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states, Iran and Iraq.
read the BBC's article on its interview with Chavez here.
Another forceful quote from Chavez :
Mr Chavez does not accept UK Prime Minister Tony Blair's criticism of him for lining up with Mr Castro.
He told Newsnight: "If someone is sleeping together it is Bush and Blair. They share the same bed."