Exploration & Production

Venezuela woos China

BEIJING-CARACAS

Venezuela gave China another stake in the Opec member’s oil industry and signed several other deals in the energy sector, but Beijing made no mention of new funds for Caracas during President Nicolas Maduro’s visit to his government’s key
 financier.

Maduro’s leftist government sold a 9.9 per cent stake in the low-cost Sinovensa joint venture, where China National Petroleum Corporation has a 40 per cent share, to China, it said in a statement.

The statement also said China and Venezuela had signed a "memorandum for cooperation in Ayacucho bloc 6," located in Venezuela’s vast oil-rich Orinoco Belt, without elaborating.

China will drill 300 wells in Ayacucho and extend $184 million in financing for the joint oil venture Petrozumano, the statement added. A source at Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA, who asked to remain anonymous because he is not allowed to speak to media, said oil services and procurement at Sinovensa would be handled by Chinese companies.

It was unclear what China, which has ploughed more than $50 billion into Venezuela through oil-for-loan agreements, was giving in return.

PDVSA and Venezuela’s Information Ministry did not respond to a request for information about the deal.




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