Maracaibo, Lake

Maracaibo, Lake

Inlet of the Caribbean Sea, northwestern Venezuela. The largest natural lake in South America, it occupies an area of 5,130 sq mi (13,280 sq km), extending southward for 130 mi (210 km) from the Gulf of Venezuela and reaching a width of 75 mi (121 km). Many rivers flow into the lake, notably the Catatumbo River. It is in one of the world's richest oil-producing regions, which supplies about two-thirds of Venezuela's total petroleum output. Its oil fields are located along the eastern shore, extending 20 mi (32 km) into the lake.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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