CARACAS, Venezuela, Dec. 9 (UPI) -- Russian state-run oil company Rosneft said it signed a memorandum of understanding to help develop part of one of the biggest oil fields off Venezuela's coast.
"This tentative MOU is a major step in globalizing Rosneft business," Rosneft President Eduard Khudainatov said in a statement. "If Rosneft joins the project, it will gain access to the rich deposits of the Orinoco oil belt, a resource base that could become an important driver of additional growth in the company's output after 2015 and transform Rosneft into a major player in this very promising region of Latin America."
Rosneft signed the deal with Venezuela's state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela to develop crude oil in the Carabobo-2 project, which makes up two blocks in the Orinoco oil belt.
The Russian oil company added that, "in an unprecedented move," it signed two MOU for joint ventures for drilling and construction services in the Orinoco oil belt.
Venezuela has some of the largest deposits of crude oil in the world. The Orinoco belt is considered one of the biggest reserve fields outside of the Middle East.
Moscow last year paid more than half of the $1 billion for work in the Junin-6 block in the Orinoco belt.