(Read More: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Has Died, VP Says)
So should we get set for market-rocking political tensions that could drive oil prices screaming higher? Perhaps not.
"In the near-term, we certainly had some uncertainty," said Tim Evans, an energy futures specialist at Citi Futures. "But Venezuela elects their leaders democratically. This matter will be decided at the polls."
Evans said he doesn't expect a dramatic shift in Venezuelan production any time soon.
(Read More: Venezuela, Oil and Chavez: a Tangled Tale)
"What I expect to see is a period of mourning in Venezuela, during which oil production will continue at current levels – and then they'll gather themselves for the required elections," he said.
Jeff Kilburg of KKM Financial trades crude oil along with other commodities, and he concurs with that sanguine view.
"Lots of people talk about a big type of change coming," Kilburg said, "but I definitely don't think it's a major market mover."
Crude oil futures added about twenty cents in the twenty minutes after the news broke.
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