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Belarus to receive $900 mln from oil output in Venezuela in 2008

 Belarus will receive around $900 million from oil production in Venezuela next year, the Belarusian foreign minister said on Monday.

During Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko's visit to the oil-rich Latin American country on December 7-8, Belarus and Venezuela launched a joint oil venture expected to produce up to 7 million metric tons (51 million barrels) of crude annually.

Belarus will own 60% and Venezuela 40% of the joint venture's output.

"Belarus will produce about 900,000 metric tons [6.6 million barrels] of oil in 2008 at two deposits in Venezuela. In the next two years, oil output will increase to 2 million metric tons [14.65 million barrels) of oil per year," Sergei Martynov said.

The Belarusian diplomat said oil produced by Belarus in Venezuela would be sold on local markets while the ex-Soviet republic would use oil sale proceeds to purchase crude in regions close to its borders.

The outspoken Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez visited the ex-Soviet state last July, subsequently announcing that he and President Lukashenko, both fierce critics of the United States, had established a "strategic alliance" to counter "hegemonic" capitalism.

RIA Novost


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