NASA6-712-031 Tablazo Bay, Gulf of Venezuela, Venezuela Fall 1997 The Gulf of Venezuela with a heavy load of sediment occupies most of the left portion of this near-vertical-looking view. An inlet of the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf is a major shipping lane for Venezuelan oil. The oil is shipped from ports in Maracaibo (upper right) and the new city of Tablazo across the Bay of Tablazo from Maracaibo. The bay is constantly dredged to allow the passage of large oil tankers to and from the ports of Maracaibo and Tablazo and other ports in the northeastern part of Lake Maracaibo (not visible on image). This whole region is considered the oil capital of South America.