February 13, 2012
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Venezuela In Joint Oil Venture With Gazprom Unit

Venezuela has approved a joint venture between the state-run oil giant PDVSA and Gazprombank, a subsidiary of the Russian energy giant Gazprom, the government's official gazette said Wednesday.

The joined venture has the goal to "strengthen energy operations" in the oil-rich Orinoco belt in eastern Venezuela, the statement said.

Petroleos de Venezuela will hold a 60 percent share of the joint venture, while Gazprombank Latin America Ventures would have a 40 percent stake, according to the gazette. By law, no foreign company can own more than 40 percent stake in an energy project.

The National Assembly, where supporters of President Hugo Chavez hold a majority, approved the joint venture late Tuesday.

The region, some 55,314 square kilometers (21,360 square miles) in eastern Venezuela's Orinoco River area, has seen a boon in domestic and foreign investment in recent years as Caracas seeks to exploit the region's heavy and extra-heavy oil reserves.

Copyright 2012, Gazprom, AFP. All rights reserved.


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