PDVSA-CNPC JV to Boost Output by 2014
Oil companies formed as joint ventures between Venezuela and China will produce 1.1 million barrels per day by 2014, up from 112,000 bpd at present, Venezuelan Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez said.
Ramirez said Venezuela and China had agreed on the terms for a new Chinese loan worth $4 billion for oil projects and that the agreement will be signed on Wednesday by socialist President Hugo Chavez, Reuters reported.
"We're going to get $300 million to start with right now, which would cover the plan to increase output," the news agency quoted Ramirez as saying.
The joint venture projects between Venezuela's state-run company PDVSA and China's National Petroleum Corporation currently produce 112,000 bpd and Venezuela is sending 410,000 bpd to China to pay for previous loans, Ramirez said.
The joint venture projects between the two companies are worth some $30 billion.
Finance Minister Jorge Giordani last week said the South American Opec member's arrangement with China was unprecedented in Latin America. An initial $4 billion loan from 2007 was already paid and another would be canceled early in 2012, he said.
Officials say the Chinese money goes to social projects and infrastructure, though opposition politicians and some economists complain of a lack of transparency in the accounts, Reuters reported.
"It's a perfectly transparent agreement by which we pay with oil shipments ... that are sold at market prices," Ramirez said.
In addition to the three $4 billion tranches, China's government lender also gave Venezuela a separate $20 billion credit line in 2010.
(upstreamonline.com Nov. 2011)