In the wake of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s death Tuesday, the focus has shifted to American relations with the nation and the oil reserves Venezuela holds.

The country has 18% of the world’s proven oil share, which is the largest of any country, according to Dow Jones. The country’s annual output has declined by more than 20% from 1998 and is now at 2.5 million barrels daily. Chavez, who died after a two-year battle with cancer, relied heavily on imports.

If his successor reverses that pattern and begins investing in the nation’s reserves, gas prices could fall in the long run, according to’s Patrick DeHaan.

“This could spell a turn in the tide here,” DeHaan says. “Perhaps Venezuela will start investing in its oil industry, and help to stave off a reduction in production out there. Their crude output is significantly down.”

However, due to Chavez’s unpredictable reign, it’s unclear if foreign oil investors will jump at the chance to put money into the country