Russia's Rosneft to pay $2.6 bn to access Venezuelan oil

8th December 2011, Comments 0 comments

Russian oil giant Rosneft will pay $2.6 billion to Venezuela to be able to tap into the country's oil reserves in the Orinoco Belt area, the company said Thursday.

Rosneft and Venezuelan state company PDVSA signed a memorandum of understanding in Moscow creating a joint venture to exploit two fields in a project they call Carabobo-2 and estimate holds 40 billion barrels of oil.

The Russian company will hold a 40% stake in the company, while the rest will be controlled by a PDVSA subsidiary called CVP.

According to the document, Rosneft will pay $1.1 billion to enter the project. It will also open a line of credit for PDVSA in the amount of $1.5 billion.

"The signed document is a most important step for Rosneft in globalising its business and... it will allow the company access to the oil-rich Orinoco river belt," the statement quoted Rosneft head Eduard Khudainatov as saying.

Rosneft said Carabobo-2 could become the company's "key source of growth" through 2015, Rosneft said, adding production should peak at 400,000 barrels per day.

State-controlled Rosneft, Russia's biggest oil company, has stepped up its international expansion since the beginning of 2011.

In August, it struck an alliance with the American ExxonMobil for Arctic and Black Sea exploration several months after a similar deal with British BP failed.

© 2011 AFP

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