Venezuela, Russia Sign New Deals To Expand Oil Production Cooperation

CARACAS, July 29 (Bernama) -- Venezuela and Russia on Thursday signed a number of energy cooperation agreements, as part of the collaboration between Venezuela's state-owned oil company PDVSA and Russia's Rosneft, China's Xinhua new agency reportd.

In a meeting at the presidential palace in Caracas, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, his Mining and Oil Minister Eulogio del Pino and Rosneft Chief Executive Officer Igor Sechin formalised the deals.

The agreements between PDVSA and Rosnest focus on joint production in the oil, gas, and petrochemical industries.

Their combined investments in Venezuela have already topped US$20 billion and created five joint ventures, operating in the Orinoco Belt, which contains the largest proven hydrocarbon reserves in the world.

After the ceremony, del Pino told the state-owned Venezolana de Television that the joint ventures currently produce around 170,000 barrels of oil a day, but it is estimated they have the potential to reach 1 million.

PDVSA and Rosneft also signed a training agreement, which will see 30 Venezuelan staff study high-level courses in Russian universities.

Venezuela and Russia are also seeking to build up other joint ventures, covering infrastructure, construction and services for the oil industry.