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Belarus, Venezuela agree to boost energy cooperation

Belarus and Venezuela agreed on Wednesday to boost energy cooperation and develop projects currently being implemented by the Petrolera BeloVenezolana joint oil venture in the South American country.

A joint statement was adopted after a meeting in Minsk between Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez.

Chavez is currently on an official visit to Belarus, accompanied by a large delegation of businessmen.

Petrolera BeloVenezolana, established by state-run Belarusian oil producer, Belorusneft, and Venezuela's state-owned petroleum company PdVSA, is to receive another three oil fields in Venezuela, Belarusian First Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Semashko announced.

He said the addition of the three fields would make it possible to double the annual capacities of the joint venture in the next few years to 2 million metric tons.

Semashko said the joint venture would produce 680,000 metric tons of crude in 2008.

Petrolera BeloVenezolana's oil output in the first five months of this year amounted to 370,000 metric tons. The company is currently developing two Venezuelan fields, Guara Este and Lagomedio.

Earlier reports said experts at Petrolera BeloVenezolana had already drawn up business plans to develop the three additional oil fields.

Belorusneft and PdVSA cooperate in the fields of seismic work, oil production, and oil and gas licensing. The companies have two joint ventures, Petrolera BeloVenezolana, which specializes in oil production, and a seismic works joint venture, Sismica-BeloVenezolana.

RIA Novosti

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