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Eight New Accords Tighten Venezuelan, Russian Relationship

Caracas, 28 Sep. AVN.- A total eight accords signed Thursday further strengthened the relationship between Venezuela and Russia in energy cooperation.

At Miraflores presidential palace, in Caracas, the Russian delegation met with Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, together with a committee coordinated by Petroleum and Mining Minister Rafael Ramirez, also president of state oil company PDVSA.

In the meeting, Rafael Ramirez explained that the first three agreements are linked to the formation of a joint venture company for oil exploitation in the Carabobo 2 North and Carabobo 4 West areas of the Orinoco Oil Belt, eastern Venezuela, to be named Petro Victoria.

"The Petro Victoria joint-venture is an important agreement which will allow us to initiate the production of more than 450 thousand oil barrels per day between the Russian companies and PDVSA, in addition to the 450 thousand that we already have in Petro Miranda."

Last Wednesday, Ramirez reported that joint Venezuelan - Russian company Petro Miranda had begun drilling, marking the first time in Venezuela’s history that PDVSA and the Russian Petroleum Consortium have extracted oil together.

The Petro Miranda project is based on bi-lateral agreements signed last year, with Venezuelan investment with Russian companies on oil production reaching US $38 billion.

On Thursday, representatives of the two nations also approved the payment of a bond to Venezuela by the Russian company Rosneft, due to its participation as shareholder of the new Russian-Venezuelan company. "Also, we have endorsed a license to explore and exploit gas in the Urumaco 1 block", said the minister.

Another agreement was the memorandum of understanding in order to form the Carabobo 2 joint venture, whose approval depends on Venezuela's National Assembly, where it will be discussed. "The sixth agreement is a contract to form a joint venture of oil services, with the aim to work on the perforating of wells," Ramirez stated.

A further agreement entails the formation of a joint venture to construct oil and non-oil infrastructure between Rosneft and PDVSA. Meanwhile, "the eighth agreement is a company for building a coke-based plant of 300 Megawatts in the Orinoco Oil Belt, using coke to generate electric power," said Ramirez.

Russia's remarks

Rosneft president Igor Sechin stressed the significance of the agreements endorsed Thursday between Venezuela and Russia, which continue projecting the two nations in the international sphere. "We have shown to everyone that Russia and Venezuela are capable of carrying out projects which give a significant contribution to markets," Sechin said.

Russia is aware, he added, of the significance of strengthening economic accords between the companies Rosneft and PDVSA.

Sechin said that the bi-lateral relationship between Venezuela and Russia has strengthened throughout the years, thus "we are proud of our projects and of an additional possibility to develop projects of social interest."

In this sense, he praised the work carried out by the Great Housing Mission Venezuela, supported by the Russian Federation. He said it is a program of considerable scope, since it benefits the entire Venezuelan people.

Independent nation

At the end of the meeting, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez highlighted Venezuela’s independence, through which it is able to sign cooperation agreements with fellow nations.

"Only in a free, independent country, as it is Venezuela today, thanks to the Bolivarian Revolution, we have been able to set very beneficial relationships for Venezuela, for Russia too. Mutual benefit," said Chavez.

After 12 years of having boosted a diplomatic relationship between Russia and Venezuela, Chavez said the two nations maintain strong ties in politics, geopolitics, science, technology "and now in matters of housing and oil production."

"These are very advantageous relationships in order to continue strengthening Venezuela and Russia," said the Venezuelan president.

On this issue, he referred to Venezuela's relationship with other countries as Argentina, Brazil and China. "A few days ago, here was a Chinese delegation, there is also an Argentinean delegation here. Argentinean businesspeople who want to settle down in Venezuela. This is the ongoing socialist Venezuela, result of our international relations," he stressed.

The Venezuelan president also commented that relations promoted by the Bolivarian government with other nations "are always aimed to benefit Venezuelans."

Editing and additional comments by Venezuelanalysis.com

Published on Oct 1st 2012 at 12.05pm